4th in a series about customer service . . . Topic: Think Win Win
The two axes of win-win
When I first heard people use the term “win-win” I thought it rather meaningless. I was pretty sure they meant, “I win, you lose” but with the sugar coating of a nice sounding buzz phrase.
It was when I started studying the writings of Stephen R. Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) that my thinking turned around. The way Dr. Covey explained it made so much sense. But it also outlined how much hard work truly getting to win-win takes. Because it takes people who are both courageous and considerate at the same time.
Draw box with four quadrants. The x-axis is labeled “courage.” The y-axis is labeled “consideration.” The scale goes from low to high (left to right and bottom to top). Here’s how each quadrant is labeled:
The bottom left-hand quadrant is Lose-Lose. That’s because the organization is low on courage. It won’t stand up for what is right for the organization so the organization loses. And because the organization is low on consideration as well, the customer is offended or treated poorly. Yes, lose-lose. That organization isn’t going to be around for long.
The quadrant directly above (upper left) is Lose-Win. The organization is low on courage (so the organization loses) but the customer wins because the organization is so overly considerate. In this quadrant, the organization simply becomes a door mat for others to walk on. Why do you think this organization won’t stand the test of time?
The bottom, right hand quadrant is the Win-Lose quadrant. The organization is low on consideration (so the customer loses) but the organization wins because the organization is so very courageous. In this quadrant, the organization treats customers poorly and while it may make a profit in the short-term, that certainly won’t last long.
Getting to the upper right is the challenge
The final quadrant is in the upper right. This is the Win-Win quadrant because the organization has had the courage to do what’s right for the organization and it has had enough consideration to do what’s right for the customer. This is the only quadrant in which successful organizations live.
Getting to the upper right hand quadrant is hard work. Period. But it’s the only quadrant your organization can choose. Make it a habit to practice being a win-win organization starting today!