After an amazing response to our last blog on this subject here’s more on the skills you can teach children to achieve PEACE not WAR.
Win:Win is where both people achieve enough of what they want. They may not get what they originally wanted but they’re sufficiently satisfied at the end. History tells us that Peace is more likely when this is achieved. The foundation of Assertion is based on the concept of Win:Win.
So firstly explain to your children that behaviour is catching i.e. ask them to recognise how they can feel happy one moment, then meet up with a friend who is really sad and they can experience the ‘sadness’ too. Likewise they can be feeling downhearted about i.e. their exam result and join a group who are chatting passionate about their football and very quickly start to feel more upbeat.
They will begin to understand that their behaviour effects others too and that if they want their friends to behave assertively towards them with a Win:Win mindset then they need to do the same. You can then take them through the following steps:
Step 1 – Believe it’s possible
In order to have more win:win experiences they need to believe it’s possible.Specifically they need to believe:
‘I don’t have to lose for others to win’.
Step 2 – Decide what it is that they want
‘What would I be sufficiently satisfied with?’
Step 3 – Establish other peoples needs (don’t let them assume they know what others want)
‘ Ollie you said you didn’t think it’s a good idea, what do you want us to do?’
Step 4 – Verbal handshake to encourage acceptance of both people’s needs -Keep focused on others needs and keep their own in mind too because unless there is genuine acknowledgement of needs at this stage, it is unlikely that a win:win will happen i.e.
‘ I understand that you want me to stay behind today because you’ve got detention. Do you appreciate I promised Amy I’d go shopping with her after school?‘
Step5 -Creative thinking –‘What if?’ type questions encourage others to remain open to possibilities:
‘What if we took this approach?’
‘There must be a way round this?’
Explain that adopting a win:win approach builds confidence even if the result is not always what they’d hoped for.
They’ll be confident they stood up for what they wanted in a way that maximised the chance of success.
Compared with a mindset based on lose:lose or win:lose – where they may not only fail to get what they want but may also suffer an even greater loss – one of WAR instead of PEACE.
photo credit: DFID – UK Department for International Development via photopin cc