Yes, you did read that correctly! It’s never really a win/lose outcome – it’s actually either a win-win or lose…
Why… you ask? Because the minute you view any kind of disagreement, debate or difference of opinion in the terms of winning or losing – you’ve already lost!
Hopefully you’ll be familiar with the expression ‘you may have won the battle, but you haven’t won the war’. Well that kind of applies here. You may have won the argument, and prevailed in ensuring that your point of view came out on top, but at the same time you unwittingly damaged the relationship – hence you really lost overall. This applies most strongly in any situation where the relationship is ongoing – such as family, your relationship partner, friends, work colleagues, boss/direct reports. In other words, pretty much most personal or professional contexts.
What many people don’t realise, or easily forget, is that relationships are always primary if you want to get on in life and business. Read through the reams of leadership and team research and literature available, or similar material about romantic relationships/marriages and they’ll all point to the fact that maintaining strong positive relationships is a core fundamental element of success in those areas. Unfortunately, as I mentioned earlier, when you ‘win’ an argument you often damage the relationship to a greater or lesser extent at the same time.