Create a Win/Win Solution

Create a Win Win Solution

Create a Win/Win Solution

By: Amanda Kopischke

Create a Win/Win Solution is one of Incubate to Innovate’s ChangeMaker Mindsets™.  Stephen Covey, in his highly acclaimed book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, describes a Win/Win as a “frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win/Win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win/Win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.” (page 207)

Create a Win/Win Solution

The mindset of Create a Win/Win Solution asks a critical question: How can I seek to understand situations so that a mutually beneficial solution can be developed when possible?  

The win/win frame of mind and heart constantly seeks cooperation and reciprocity for all human interactions.

In the book Canoeing the Mountains, Tod Bolinger explains that “when dealing with managing the present win/win solutions are the goal. But, when leading adaptive change, win/win can be lose/lose.”  When navigating adaptive change, finding win/win solutions is much more difficult.  Sometimes we have to make hard decisions and people have to mourn some losses.  However, when a culture has been established to interrogate reality collaboratively while Leading with Empathy for a greater purpose, the outcome can still be win/win with great effort. 

Utilizing a win-win approach to solutions and decision making can help two sets of needs to be integrated.  Addressing each person’s or group’s underlying need means that one can build solutions that acknowledge and value those needs, rather than denying or avoiding them. Even when solutions do not meet every outcome, the person or group feels quite differently about the outcome and the process as well.

Striving for collaboration in creating win/win solutions requires a mature, growth mindset that believes in the “greater good” and is willing to “see” who others are turning into. Creating win/win solutions require an abundance mentality where there is room for everyone to celebrate who they are and live out their purpose.  Also, the win/win solutions emerge more naturally when leaders move from encouraging to empowering those around them.

All of this may require an extensive investment of time, effort, perseverance, creativity, problem-solving, and open communication.  But, it is well worth it!

What examples from your past did you benefit from where a win/win solution was created?

What situations in your life presently could you approach from a win/win frame of mind? 

Who can you graciously collaborate with to arrive at a win/win solution? 

How can you Lead with Empathy to Create a Win/Win Solution where everyone is celebrated and can live out their purpose? 


The following post was taken from the ChangeMakers for Impact network, a part of Incubate to Innovate, a company that provides educators with best practices, tools, and an online collaborative network to transform teaching and learning experiences and environments using innovation to prepare students with 21st-century skills. To learn more, please click here.