Win, Lose or Indifferent: Positive Qualities for Positive Personal Gains
Introduction (Read) - Please consider this information from a neutral and impartial perspective – This activity is designed for discussing both sides of any dispute, disagreement or competition. It’s about learning, growing and working on being a better person no matter which side one is on in any situation; win, lose or draw. No matter what “side” we are on, there are always valuable lessons all of us can take with us to continue on our journey of self-awareness and self-improvement as long as we can strive to display the right qualities that will help us to truly benefit from our experiences. (The terms “winning” and “losing” are arbitrarily used in this paper to signify when one side of a dispute gets their way and the other side does not- In reality, quite often no one truly “wins” in a conflict or disagreement)
Rules for discussion – If there are people with differing views on a situation who are participating in this activity, everyone regardless of their views should display the qualities outlined in this paper (such as respect, humility, empathy, etc.)
READ: In this group, we are here to build one another up, not tear down, regardless of differing viewpoints or perspectives. Even when someone has a viewpoint or opinion that we may find to be ignorant or even offensive, carrying oneself in a dignified and respectful manner does much more to solidify our stance instead of being insulting, argumentative, accusatory or demeaning. Another person’s negative traits do not have to change the way we speak, communicate, behave or react when we are firm in our own position.
Discuss the following quote:
Starting from early childhood, all of us learn rules about the best way to conduct ourselves in a competitive or conflictual situation. It can be emotionally painful to “lose” in a competitive situation and although winning usually feels good, it can be just as hard to know how to conduct ourselves appropriately in “victory”. This exercise is about coping and behaving, regardless of the outcome. It is about building bridges even where it feels like they have been torn down due to differences and disagreements. It is about communicating, learning and growing as an individual in any situation regardless of the outcome
Discussion: In a competitive or conflictual situation: “Win or lose” – Review and discuss the following list of qualities that help get you cope and conduct yourself when dealing with the opposing side of a competition or conflict. Discuss how you can display these qualities in a competitive or conflictual situation whether you personally felt like you were the one to “win” or “lose”
For each quality – Discuss two sides: How can you display this quality when you “win” and how can you display this quality when you “lose” –
For example – Considering the first quality listed: Dignity – Discuss both below:
How can you win with dignity?
How can you lose with dignity?
Use this format and discuss both sides (win/lose) for each quality listed below, as group:
Dignity - formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language – Simply put: calm, serious and controlled behavior that makes people respect you
Grace – Courteous goodwill - disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency
Humility - Freedom from arrogance - absence of vanity or excessive pride.
Respect - Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. Proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgement
Empathy - Understanding (Even when you do not agree)
Assertiveness – To communicate one’s thoughts and feelings in a way that is open but respectful – Expressing straightforward confidence without insult or aggression
Acceptance - Willingness to tolerate a difficult or unpleasant situation. (In this case, whether you win or lose, accepting and tolerating the fact that there are people who think and feel differently than you do)
Closing Discussion Questions
Which of these above qualities may be a challenge for you in a competitive, oppositional, or disagreeable situation?
Which of these qualities we have reviewed are strengths for you?
Do you feel now like you are able to successfully discuss your thoughts and feelings while displaying these qualities?
Optional – Moving Forward – If the group is in agreement, and there is a consensus that everyone is prepared and able to display these qualities, you may decide to attempt to discuss a potentially divisive issue as a group. If the group is not ready and there is a potential for arguing, then this may not be a good idea