If you and I discuss ways in which we might work together, expect me to ask you what a “win” would mean for you in terms of our relationship. I would also expect that you ask me a similar question.
All successful long term relationships are based on wins for both sides. But in many business negotiations, one or both parties are suspicious of the other side and try to hide what a win would mean to them. This is an enormous mistake.
Only through an open conversation and true transparency can we both win. And only if we both win will our relationship thrive for many years.
“But how do I know whether the other party is trustworthy?” you might ask.
You don’t, until some time passes and you gain first-hand knowledge. But if you assume everyone is untrustworthy, then you will never build trusted relationships. Instead, assume the best... but pay close attention. Do your best to be open. If you see proof that the other side is not trustworthy, walk away. But in many cases, the opposite will happen; they will prove to be a trusted partner.
By the way, this approach actually results in win/win/win relationships. Why three wins? Because the ripple effects of a trusted relationship benefit many others, including society at large.