“We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life”

Edwin Markham 

Edwin Markham’s quote above begins Dr. Covey’s habit of Win/Win. Very appropriate don’t you think? When I first saw the concept of Win/Win, what I thought was…that’s awesome everybody goes away happy because they both came away with getting their initial proposals or both got what they wanted. Although this is somewhat true it was something far more involved and required that each person was mature and willing to let go of what they initially wanted and work with the other person of a differing view to come up with something that was better than what each had initially.  

This is why Win/Win is so powerful it allows each of us to really honor the other person as we do ourself. Imagine the friendship and alliances that can be made when approach life this way. No longer having to look behind our backs because someone has been undermined or taken advantage of. Sometimes it is even us. Win/Win is a mind shift and culture enhancer but it requires person’s of great maturity and that’s why Win/Win can’t be created unless we are emotional mature and self-confident. People who lack confidence don’t have enough emotional maturity in their emotional bank account to risk it. Habit 1, Habit 2 and Habit 3 have to come first. It is actually in the first 3 habits that we build up our emotional bank account.

There are five dimensions of Win/Win. They are:



AgreementsSupportive Systems


I am only going to be able to cover two in this article and the remainder in next weeks article on part 2 of WinWin. “Character” according to Dr. Covey is foundational to Win/Win and everything else builds from here. There are 3 character traits that are crucial to Win/Win, they are:



Abundance Mentality

Dr. Covey in the previous chapters, discussing Habits 1-3, or our private victories, defined integrity as the “value we place on ourselves”. As we build on habits 1-3, we begin to deposit in our emotional bank account by keeping meaningful promises and commitments we make for ourselves. We begin to develop independence and self-awareness. Our confidence builds because we are developing a strong trust in ourselves that is not dependent on the values and opinions of others.If we do develop trust in ourselves our it is difficult to put trust in others.

The second attribute in character is maturity, which is “the balance between courage and consideration.” Another way of looking at maturity Dr. Covey learned by one of his own professors and it is “the ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others.”

The third attribute of character is an abundance mentality, which is the acceptance or life thought recognition that there is plenty there for everyone. The opposite of this is the “scarcity mentality” which most business models are built upon. A person with a scarcity mentality has a difficult time sharing recognition. power, credit or profit. They feel if they have to share with someone else there is less for them. it is very hard for them to be genuinely happy for others, even sometimes those they are most close to. This makes it challenge to stay in healthy and loving relationships. Covey expresses it well, “It is almost as if something is being taken from them when someone else receives special recognition or windfall gain or has remarkable success or achievement”. An abundance mentality covey says flows from a deep inner place of personal worth and security. I think my words are inadequate in explaining the true beauty of an abundance mentality. Dr. Covey writes “The Abundance Mentality takes the personal copy, satisfaction, and fulfillment of Habit 1, 2, and 3 and turns it outward appreciating the uniqueness, the inner direction, the proactive nature of others. It recognizes the unlimited possibilities for positive interactive growth.”

The second Dimension of Win/Win is Relationships. Now it makes perfect sense to me why maturity, integrity and an abundance mentality are critical elements of character and why character is essential to building healthy relationships. It is from character that we are able to build and maintain Win/Win relationships. It is these type of relationships that build our emotional bank account and our sense of self-worth.

The Win/Win paradigm is the at the top of the “leadership pyramid”. However, it will require courage, genuine self confidence, character and maturity. We will need our emotional bank accounts to be full from practicing and building trust and confidence in ourselves first.

Stay tuned nest week for part 2 of Win/Win😊

My best to you always,