Mutually Beneficial Solutions

I was cleaning out my desk drawer this morning and came across something that I can’t toss even though it’s ten years old. It’s a small notepad entitled “49 Days to a More Effective Life,” and in it are 49 instructional and inspirational quotes that serve as reminders to practice win/win, communicate more clearly, be proactive, and so forth. A memento from a seven-week workshop/seminar based on Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, the pad reminds me of the time spent organizing and presenting the sessions and of the people I had the opportunity to work with.

Interestingly, the quote I flipped to right away is based on Covey’s win/win approach to conflict resolution, and it was just what I needed to read. I think it might be a good one for you too. Here goes: “Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win/Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying….A person with a Win/Win attitude sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.”

While there are certainly situations in which a mutually satisfying and beneficial solution is not possible, more often than not a win/win outcome is attainable IF the parties want it and are willing to work towards it. Sometimes people want to have their way regardless of how much it alienates or even hurts others. Then too, there are folks who are willing to give in to others just to have harmony.  But think about it. What’s the point of winning if everyone around you is sad, mad, or scared? And what kind of “harmony” is there if you’re always giving in or giving up?

Are there some situations in your life that could be resolved in a mutually beneficial way? I think I resolved one in that manner yesterday, and that’s why this little notepad with its words of wisdom struck me with such force.


Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

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