I once reminded a client, “Don’t forget the Win/Win.” In her search for new ideas for her own business, she was about to schedule meetings with a dozen or more executives in other industries to see what insights she might glean from their experiences. “I know they accepted your invitation with the thought they’d be helping you, but keep your eyes open for ways to help them, too.”
She laughed as we remembered this fundamental — an idea so basic and so easily forgotten when we’re focused on our own needs.
Of course, my client understood that the Win/Win model is enlightened self-interest: Win/Win builds goodwill and improves the odds that she’ll get good help.
But beyond — or perhaps “before” — the Win/Win, we agreed to start with a simple, single Win. Not for herself but for the other. This wasn’t enlightened self-interest — it was just a Good Thing.