Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Winning Attitude

November is the perfect time to be putting some extra thought into habit 4: Think Win-Win. It was the recent election that got me thinking about the power of positive thinking and a win-win attitude. I stopped at my usual coffee shop on my way to work the morning after the election, and in front of me in line, a lady was ranting and raving about the election results. This woman was fired up and extremely angry, letting anyone and everyone in the store know about how she felt about the fact that nothing is going to be accomplished (in her mind) that will be good for Michigan. Being the habit-minded person I am, I could have noted to the lady that she was not being very proactive by venting her politically-induced frustration on a store full of strangers.

Instead, I thought about the common belief that so many Americans have that nothing much gets accomplished in government when party control shifts so much and the balance of power so often holds up new legislation and forward progress.
Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if politicians had more of a “win-win” attitude? Thinking win-win isn’t about
compromise, because that implies giving up something that you want to come to an agreement. Instead, it is the idea that everyone can win, everyone can get something they want. It is an attitude, a new paradigm. If everyone had this attitude, think how much more could be accomplished! After all, what is it that the people that represent the citizens of this country want? A better country. A better America. So if they go in with the attitude that everyone can win, everyone can somehow get what they want, things would progress much faster.
The problem is that this attitude becomes lost in the more limited paradigm that only one way is best, only one side can win. On a smaller scale, we see this in our day-to-day lives. A struggle between co-workers over which ideas are best to be implemented. An unwillingness to be open to new ideas, others’ needs, or the true goal – a winning vision. How often do we let our own personal agendas, feelings, or prejudices get in the way of a positive attitude? We need to quit taking things personally and remember that we are all on the same team, with the same vision; and with a win-win attitude, everyone can benefit. We can benefit, our students can benefit, and our communities can benefit. A winning team!

- Karen

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