Win-win strategy

Also known as: One-two strategy

In the win-win strategy, also known as a double victory strategy, both parties involved benefit from the solution of a problem or conflict. It is based on respect for the other and takes into account their needs as well as your own with the aim of long-term and sustainable success.

Definition / explanation

The win-win strategy emerged from the "fair negotiation" method developed at Harvard in the 1970s and 1980s. It is primarily designed for long-term sustainable success and long-term cooperation rather than short-term profit.

The concept aims to solve the following two problems:

  • a conflict that one party decides for itself and thus creates a loser on the other side
  • a compromise in which both negotiating partners have to make compromises, so there are two losers

Compromises easily lead to subsequent conflicts, counterattacks or damage motivation. A win-win situation, on the other hand, has two winners. But only if not only those involved, but also everyone else affected have an advantage.

Procedure / procedure

For this it is necessary to find out which real interests lie behind the demands and opinions of the two sides in order to then come to a solution in an objective discussion.

The discussion is about interests, but not about positions or people. The necessary techniques include, first of all, the separation of problem analysis and problem solving, the design of the context of the conflict situation and the ability to present one's own interests without becoming personal.

Refrain from assigning blame, verbal attacks and judging the other side. The key is empathy, i.e. empathy with the other party and the appreciation of their expectations and fears.

Assumptions are to be refuted through confidence-building measures. A mediator can also be called in to defuse the conflict. It is important to solve a problem together and in the end to give everyone involved the feeling that they have won and lost nothing.

Requirements for a win-win strategy

The prerequisite for the success of the win-win strategy is the existence of an equal balance of power. If the balance of power is unequal, the more powerful side will have no interest in resolving the conflict without a loser.

Even under time pressure or under political influence, where it comes to the creation of power relations, one will try to impose one's will on the other side.

The same applies to the competition for jobs. Even savvy salespeople will be out to take advantage of them.

Win-win strategy in human resources

Conflicts damage the working atmosphere and therefore require a solution. In human resources, win-win solutions rarely come about spontaneously, so that you have to work towards them in a targeted manner.

A typical win-win situation arises when employers are committed to the compatibility of work and family of their employees in such a way that they attract and retain good and efficient workers. The granting of advanced training also benefits both sides.


  • Win-win strategy is an instrument for resolving conflicts
  • focuses on interests rather than positions
  • empathy with the other party is central
  • Win-win requires a factual discussion
  • With the win-win strategy, all those involved and affected are winners
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