Sunday, January 30, 2011

Think Win-Win

It’s always best to be as efficient as we can be in anything we do.  Why waste our time accomplishing for something less? We should build relationships and try to help each other benefit. Granted the situation may not allow a win-win situation to be possible, but we should try to make the best of it. In a relationship, if one loses, both loses. If we are not building relationships, then Win-Lose maybe more appropriate.

There is much competition in today’s world. Economists have come up with “Game Theory” to analyze an economic phenomenon in auctions, duopolies or oligopolies. It describes the actions of the involved parties. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are not looking towards making a relationship. If Coke decreases its prices, it can increase its sales, robbing consumers from Pepsi; Win-Lose. In order win back customers, Pepsi will also lower its price. Because of Coke’s actions, now both companies are selling their products cheaper, decreasing it’s profits; not very efficient.

To be efficient, a relationship should be built. Integrity and trust must be part of a relationship. When there is trust and high emotional bank accounts, there is a greater probability of a successful and productive interaction.
Sometimes I wonder what goes through my lab partner’s mind when he doesn’t do his part of the lab. Perhaps it’s because he knows that if he doesn’t do it, I will because I care about my grade. It’s win-lose for him; he gets off doing less work and gets a good grade while I waste more time doing his part. Very rare am I paired up with a lab partner who has a common goal as I do and will work just as hard as I do to reach it. When we both work hard it’s win-win. 

Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood

The statement may sound obvious, but from time to time we fail to exercise this. We often get blind sighted of what we want disregard what others have to say, and we become frustrated when others are not on board with our idea.  Understand begins with listening. There are five forms of listening: ignoring, pretending, selective, attentive, and empathetic; empathetic being most important. It involves understanding the other person’s frame of reference. In other words, the reason we get frustrated is because we don’t see things from another person’s shoes.

Family disputes happen on a day to day basis. Child wants something, parents won’t allow it. Or, parent commands something, child doesn’t want to do it. Child wants an iPod. Why? To feel accepted among his friends because to him popularity is important. Parent won’t buy him an iPod because they know the detrimental long-term effects of listening to music with earbuds. The two parties have their own ideas that conflict each other. But perhaps they can listen to each other out and find a middle ground and form a compromise. 
Everyone needs to be heard. Other than physical survival there is a great need for psychological survival; to be understood and appreciated.

My own disputes with my parents often can be avoided if we just listened to each other. Both of us could be happier, and accomplish more things. Instead sometimes I get caught up in wanting something that I don’t listen to them at all. At least now I try to see things from their point of view. Better late than never, right?

Begin with the End in Mind

Knowing our goal is an important aspect of life. It helps us focus on what we want to be and do.  Viktor Frankel came up with the term “Logotherapy” Logotherapy helps and individual find his own unique meaning or mission in life. Once we examine ourselves we can know what our goals are. When we know our goals we can start to work towards and attain it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For the longest time I didn’t have a goal; I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the future. Had I figured out that I wanted to go into pharmacy, I could’ve saved myself time and money by starting out as a pre-pharm major, saving two years of time and tuition money. But I suppose if I had gone that route, I would’ve missed out on everything that I’ve learned and experienced with the music department. I learned more and built character.