Everybody talks about why win-win is such a great thing. We’re all supposed to love and support each other and feel good about the relationships we have with people we work with.
But why bother? Really? After all, my life is so much easier if I don’t worry about the other person AND myself.
Well, there’s two reasons. Self-centered reasons, actually.
If you’re in a situation where you might need to work with the person in the future, there’s the principle of reciprocity. That basically means that they’re more likely to treat you nice in the future if you treat them nice this time.
Let’s say that you’re trying to negotiate something with a person in another department at your company. Here’s the questions you should ask yourself:
- Am I ever going to need to work with this person again?
- If I do, does it matter whether they want to work with me, or to give me a better deal next time?
- Who does that person know, anywhere in this company?
- Does my reputation matter, and does this person have the chance to affect my reputation?
To be honest, I have a hard time imagining situations where you can seriously answer “no” to all these questions. Even in a large company, you end up working with the same people and groups over and over again.
A good reputation takes a long time to build, and just a moment to shatter.
So let’s look at situations where you’re less likely to interact with somebody again. I take a trip somewhere, I purchase something at a shop; why should I care what they think of me?
This is where the principle of karma comes into play. The way you treat the universe will be the way it treats you.
But that’s a pretty strange concept for some people to believe in. Fair enough. I’ve seen enough evidence myself that I don’t question it anymore, but you may not have. The observable truth is that when people are treated nicely, they tend to be more generous with others around them. Eventually that can come back to you, even though it might be unrecognizable at the time.
Like love, there isn’t a limited amount of goodwill in the universe. Instead, it multiplies when it’s used, and withers when it’s not.
So how can you put goodwill out into the world?
by Carl Dierschow