Where is the scoreboard for win-win contests? Popular culture abounds with scoreboards for measuring win-lose contests. How many methods of scoring win-lose contests can you think of in sports, debates, elections, lawsuits, business, education? All scoreboards that measure performance in win-lose contests share one feature: you can’t have a winner unless you have a loser.
No wonder that people think of life as a series of win-lose contests. But this is only part of the picture — and not the most important part of life. In the contests that matter most, you need other people to help you solve a problem or meet a need. When we win a contest against a problem, life is good.
Make a list of your important relationships: friends, neighbors, family, romance, employment, education, faith groups, police, healthcare providers, business transactions, government services. All of these relationships — when they are healthy and enjoyable — are win-win relationships. When these relationships become win-lose contests, life can be miserable and even deteriorate into lose-lose disasters.
When we improve win-win relationships, life becomes more productive, more peaceful, more enjoyable.The challenge is to build and improve win-win relationships.
How do we know if these win-win relationships are improving? Well, sometimes it is obvious. For example, when romance turns into marriage. Also, it can be obvious when a win-win relationship turns into lose-lose — as in a nasty divorce.
Other times, improvements (or declines) in win-win relationships are not obvious. When it is hard to tell whether a relationship is getting better or deteriorating, it would be helpful to have a way to measure collaborative performance.
What would happen if we had scoreboards that keep score of improvement in win-win relationships? For over 20 years, EnTeam Organization has been developing, testing, refining, and applying a series of simulations in the form of games that keep score of collaborative performance between different sides. The common element in all of the EnTeam games is a scoring process that quantifies how well different sides do at helping each other succeed.
By using EnTeam games to learn to win together and reflecting on the experience, people can develop a mindset that increases productivity and peace. When we measure our performance in bringing out the best in others, we have the power of information to continue and expand the positive actions. Also, the data can show when we are hurting our precious relationships and guide us to adjust and correct.
The skills required in your win-win relationships are complex and varied, but they have a common element which social scientists refer to as positive interdependence — what benefits one side also benefits the other side.
The primary finding of EnTeam research and development is that win-win games are at least as challenging and invigorating and enjoyable as win-lose contests. And they make life more productive, peaceful, and enjoyable. Visit us online and share your thoughts. We want to win together.