Summary

Habit four is all about creating a win-win situation. Covey describes the significance of a win-win situation which leads to mutual benefit because if one side gets the edge over the other, then it creates a win-lose situation which is good for one side but bad for the other.

In this habit, he lays emphasis that win-win makes things cooperative instead of competitive because both parties are mutually benefited. He further said that a win-win attitude brings three key character traits including integrity, maturity, and abundance mentality.

Covey, in this habit, also explains that for win-win, you not only have to be empathic but also confident enough otherwise; the win-win situation might not be possible.


Human relationships are often dominated by comparisons and competitions, from the early years of our lives.

We think about succeeding in terms of someone else losing – if I win, you lose, if you win, I lose.

It’s the mentality of fighting for a larger piece of the pie.

But what if both of us could eat some of the pie and be fully satisfied?

This is what the habit 4 think win-win is all about – transforming life into a cooperative field instead of a competition.

Think Win-Win

The idea behind “think win-win” i.e. habit 4 is to have the courage to seek mutual benefit from all human interactions instead of having winners on the one side and losers on the other.

Achieving a “Win-Win” way of interacting with others is more than just being nice or looking for a quick fix. In fact, a Win-Win solution isn’t easy.

When it is not possible to reach a Win-Win solution, then you should suggest a “No Deal.”

What is Habit 4

Who else could explain the habit 4 of 7 habits better than Stephen Covey himself? Check out this video and also have a good laugh with the people in the audience:

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Are you a fan of animations or do you just want to present the Fourth Habit to someone else as well, without asking them to pay attention to a long video?

This video presents the Win-Win paradigm from a laid-back perspective, without missing any substance in the process:

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The difference between the Win-Lose and Win-Win paradigms can be observed in multiple media productions, such as the 2012 Wreck-It Ralph animation film (this 1-minute video will tell you what it’s all about and probably encourage you to look for the movie as well).

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Why is the Fourth Habit so Important?

Habit 4 has a profound impact on the quality of your relationships. It helps build long-lasting trust that will make all interactions a lot easier.

It will bring more “luck” in your life, too.

In Covey’s terms, the Fourth Habit helps make deposits in the emotional bank account of the person you are dealing with.

Working with a mentality of abundance can change how you see work and life in general.

Rather than feeling envious for someone else’s success, you will be genuinely be energized by it.

It takes conscious practice so start today :)

Win-Win quadrants

Key Takeaways

A win-win situation helps to develop humility in you. If you rely on others for your success, then it creates a sense of humbleness that enables you to find a mutual benefit situation.

Win-win makes both parties feel satisfied because they believe that neither of them is a winner nor a loser. This level of satisfaction enables them to work together in the future.

The win-win strategy creates an atmosphere for both parties to find the solution that provides benefits to both of them because if they don’t do that, then one has to compromise for others.

Win-win lets you identify humanity for others because when you become familiar that other people also have goals like you then it helps you understand them better.

With win-lose, you can get short term benefit but with win-win, you ensure that not you but also the other party gets what they want as well, which makes both parties satisfied.

Win-win makes you assertive because it not only enables you to state what you want but also allows you to consider the needs of others.

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