How to Systemize Your Business: Everybody WINS!

Thoughts from Sandye Linnetz, Systems Goddess, Process Prodigy  My daddy always said, "The best deal is the one where everyone walks away feeling like a winner". I heard the words, and I understood what he meant, but I didn't really "get" what that meant in the big picture. Sure, I understood that a mutual win would leave everyone feeling good, and yet, somehow, I missed his point. I mean, seriously, wouldn't someone have to "lose" in any deal? Wouldn't someone always have to give up what he/she really wanted? What could that be like? Personally, I didn't really see how that could work... until recently. A world where everyone wins? What a great paradigm - and how unlike the world we know!As children, winning was an absolute. You either got your way, or you lost. We demanded, we cried, we begged and we pouted. Sometimes that worked. Sometimes we negotiated, but almost always from a position of "this is the way it is". The way we saw things was the ONLY way to see things. It was all about our personal point of view.Remember the ancient tale of the blind men and the elephant? A group of blind men were asked to describe an elephant. Each touched a different part of the elephant and was asked to tell what an elephant was. The blind man who stood at the front of the elephant felt the trunk, one touched a tusk, others felt the tail, body or legs. Each described what they experienced as elephant, and in comparing those experiences, found that they were in total disagreement! Each man was absolutely positive about his experience and all of the men were correct. Get it? Each point of view was valid... no one was wrong; it was simply a difference of perspective.Consider that we all have points of view, and, like our fingerprints, everyone's is unique. Our points of view are personal to us; based on our history, biases and so much more. None are wrong, all are valid and all are different. It's the difference of perspective - the partial-truths - that keep us stuck in our point of view. It's actually pretty amazing that we, as humans, can ever agree on anything.So, is it ever possible to design a solution where everyone wins? Absolutely! It's not easy, but it is simple. Here are some steps to take - a system, if you will, to reach an agreement that works for everyone.First set the ground rules for your discussion. This can be as simple as setting rules for topic, time, place and who's included. You may even want to talk about acceptable behavior. It's vital to have a shared commitment to respect all points of view as valid - not as RIGHT or the TRUTH - just valid. It is also vital to get clarity, and mutual agreement on what the problem is... you may be surprised that you even view the basic problem differently. Write out the mutually accepted "problem".Next determine your shared goals for outcome. What decisions have to be made? What do you want to accomplish? When this is clearly stated, write this down, too.Invite each person involved to clearly state their position - without interruption. List all of the positions.Now it's time for dialogue. What is each point of view? What is each point of view based on and has each participant agreed to look at and consider the other participants' points of view? Remember, and remind each other, that a point of view is just that... ONE way to look at a situation. Not necessarily right, but definitely valid. The first step toward consensus is usually consideration of all the different ways one could view any given situation. Listen to each other - really listen. Listen for what each person is committed to achieving. Find the common denominator. It is there.Finally, once the common denominator of a shared goal is found, brainstorm possible solutions. Make a list. Each participant, exercising the muscles of listening without judgment and looking at new possible perspectives, will be able to add to the pool of information and ideas. Take a little time to consider possible solutions... even by combining a few different ideas. A mutually acceptable solution and, thus, a group win is now available.It's a paradigm worth living in... everybody wins! © 2007 Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy, Inc. Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: Beth Schneider, President of Process Prodigy Inc.,, along with her team of highly sought after operations consultants, reveals the insider secrets billion-dollar corporations pay thousands of dollars for. Specializing in process creation, the Process Prodigy tools and techniques have helped entrepreneurs increase productivity by as much as 600% and revenues by as much as 250%. Visit and sign up to receive the Process Prodigy Ezine, "Your Tips" and the FREE Report "How to Save Yourself Time Energy and Money".

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