What if I'll tell you, that the Win-Win approach - the one that we all (including myself) - were raised upon, does not work out in the field!
Most of the times I present this idea to a group of people, I get strange looks. It doesn't stop to surprise me, how deep the Win-Win perception is rooted in our mind. How the solution where everybody come out "happy" is a belief held by so many although most of the time it leads to compromises.
I believe that the main reason people tend to resent my saying is because they think that if I'm against Win-Win then I'm probably advocating adversarial approach.
Well, I don't. Not necessary anyway.
In this series of articles, I would like to share the insights that have led me to understand that collaboration, if possible, can't initiate from a Win-Win approach.
In the course of the past 13 years during which I served as a Conflict & Negotiation consultant in disputes inside organizations and outside of them, teaching and consulting on issues of negotiation, conflicts and mediation, I learned that the Win - Win model cannot succeed in explaining reality and cannot succeed in helping people reach their results in situations of conflict and negotiations. Human beings are selfish creatures and as such our ability to see the other - especially in situations of conflict - is limited to non existent. Any one who resents this statement, should recall the last conflict he was involved in, and truthfully, ask himself to what extent could he think at the time of the conflict in terms of Win - Win? Probably he couldn’t…
An additional thing I noticed in the course of my work is that people are essentially reactive creatures - we obey Newton's third law of physics. When we feel that we are being pushed, we are compelled to push back. When using the word "push" I do not refer to the physical but rather the mental plane. The "pushing" occurs when the meaning we attribute to whatever is being said to us, collides with our viewpoint. Bill says to Helen "you haven't finished the report", Helen experience that as a push -Newton's third law kicks in and she answers "what? You haven't given me the data the report is based upon". Bill experiences that as a push and so on. Action - reaction, push - counter push.
Those two human characteristics prevent us from following the Win-Win route. Oh, yes, when we regain our wits, we understand that collaboration, whether we like it or not, might be the only way to get what we want. Have you ever wondered what cant' you think logically during a conflict? The fact that we can't is exactly the reason Win-Win is a theoretical model.

Author's Bio: 

With academic background in Economics, Accountancy, Law and Philosophy Asaf Shani is a highly experienced facilitator - consultant - trainer on confrontational situations. A Confrontational situation is a situation in which two entities (groups or individuals), holding opposing viewpoints, meet. Every conflict, negotiation, sales encounter, a difficult conversation etc, falls into this category.

Asaf started his way in the M&A division of Delloite & Touche, then in the beginning of 2001 he established Shani Mediation Inc. which specializes in consulting and training corporations and individuals.
He developed unique models like the I Win model and Unravel the conflict methodology that were successfully implemented in giant firms like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, HP, Coca-Cola, Nokia, Orange, along with government agencies, hospitals and many SMB organizations.
His hobbies include Kung-Fu, horse riding, swimming and jogging.