When the stakes are high, it’s time to check your motivation.  

 

Do you want to win at all costs … or do you want to grow and improve?

 

I’ve just arrived back in South Africa for the second time on the Virgin Unite South Africa Connect trip. 

 

An amazing opportunity to both experience and contribute away from the commercial drivers of sales and profit.

 

On the way to the hotel from the airport, the driver, Zigi, and I were talking about how far South Africa has come in the last 30 years.  It really has been a rapid transformation.

 

But Zigi said, “We still have so much more to do, and we must do it together as a country, not to each other as separate tribes or races.”

 

Zigi’s pretty smart!

 

You can find out why and what he was really saying in the attached article …

 

 

Article: SHOULD YOU SELL TO WIN OR SELL TO GROW?

 

When you’re in a situation and the stakes are high, it’s time to check your motivation.  

 

Do you want to win at all costs … or do you want to grow and improve?

 

I’ve just arrived back in South Africa for my second Virgin Unite South Africa Connect Trip. 

An amazing opportunity to both experience a different world to my own and make a contribution, away from the commercial drivers of Sales and profit.

 

On the way to the hotel from the airport, the driver, Zigi, and I were talking about how far South Africa has come in the last 30 years. It really has been a rapid transformation.

 

But Zigi said, “We still have so much more to do, and we must do it together as a country, not to each other as separate tribes or races.”

 

Zigi’s pretty smart!

 

He was really saying, “we have so much more to do, and we must do it together as a country (grow and improve), not to each other as separate tribes or races (win).

 

I thought about this all the way to the hotel and it reminded me of a model I made about 15 years ago …

 

CONFLICT AND DECISION MAKING

 

I wanted to create a quick, decision-making tool for leaders that could be used when there is conflict and the stakes are high.

 

As I thought about this, a simple choice emerged that must be made.

 

This choice is about your motivation in the middle of the conflict.

 

By motivation, I mean, the final end outcome you seek to achieve.

 

This applies to leadership and decisions made within your organisation … 

 

It applies to sales and decisions made during the selling process …

And to social change and the decisions made during shifting collective opinions.

The choice within the model is simple – play to win …

 

Or play to grow and improve. 

 

I’m not suggesting one is better than the other – the point of the model is to simply make a conscious choice about the outcome you are seeking and be aware of the consequences you’ll create as you do so.

 

The model explains how all that works.

 

When the stakes are high, people almost always turn to a deep, psychological need to win, and if the stakes are life threatening or threaten your freedoms, then a win may need to be pursued.

 

Be aware … a win usually does damage to the inner being of the others involved.  

Even in sport, where everyone chooses to participate, the losers suffer internal, emotional trauma. You see this displayed in their very physiology after the loss.

 

On the flipside, a win grows your ego and sense of confidence and sometimes that is necessary.

 

However, it is hard to move from a win for you and a loss for others – to growth and improvement for all, because of that internal damage that is done to them.

 

Getting to win/win from win/loss is never easy.

 

If you must win, play hard, but be sure you have thought through the consequences.

 

If the consequences are high but the relationships involved are more important to you than the outcome, then compromise may be a better approach.

 

Compromise is about reaching agreement, and that takes longer, but there is the chance that everyone is served.

 

When that happens, it is possible for the individuals and relationships to grow and improve as a result.

The key to compromise is to seek to understand.

 

This really starts with playing kind.

 

It may even involve accepting a short-term loss for you and a win for them (lose/win), for a longer-term win/win outcome.

 

Think about this … getting to growth is easier from compromise than it is from competition.

 

What Zigi was talking about was the Growth Line … playing fair and seeking a win for everyone, doing it together.

 

So remember, when the stakes are high and the possibility of conflict is real:

 

  • Understand your own motivations
  • Choose your game deliberately
  • Accept the consequences of the game you choose

 

HOW DOES THIS FIT TO SELLING?

 

Imagine you’re the customer and you have just been sold to, under a win for the seller and a potential loss for you.  In other words, you feel a little taken advantage of.

 

Could you ever see yourself growing and improving in a relationship with that company?

 

On the other hand, you experience a sales process that is focused on understanding you at a deeper level and it may even seem that the company are bending over backwards to serve you.  Maybe even more than you might have expected.

 

Could you see yourself growing and improving in your relationship with that company?

In any game of high stakes and potential conflict, a simple underlying decision must be made, and in particular by the party that has the greater perceived power:

 

What matters more to me – the result or the relationship?

 

Answer that question and the game becomes much clearer.

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