Habit #4: Think Win-Win

Contrary to what might pop into our heads at first glance, win-win thinking isn’t about giving in, giving up, or giving a trophy to both teams. It’s about cooperation, collaboration, community, and creative thinking!

Win-win thinking is cooperating to seek a solution that leaves both sides happy with the outcome. At Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy), we believe that our success does not have to be framed by another’s failure. The concept of win/lose is expected in a board game or a tennis match, but life and relationships are not competitions. Instead of competing, at our tuition-free K-8 elementary school we ask: how can we re-frame a problem so everyone can win? 

Using the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, let’s take a closer look at Habit #4: Think Win-Win and how this type of thinking can help us grow into compassionate leaders.


Two PACE Academy students sit on a bench under a mural in a school hallway, one reading a book and the other student listening with a smile on their face.

K-8 Creative Thinking for the Win

Win-win requires flexible and creative thinking—it pushes your brain to try something new. And using your brain is fun! Win-win thinking recognizes that there is more than one solution to the decisions and challenges of the world. At Pace Academy, we aim to help children see that their way plus your way may be the best way. 


Creative thinking and problem-solving are woven into all of our studies and projects at Pace Academy. The tracks children set down in their brains when they solve a complex math problem or build a tall tower out of wooden blocks also support the ability to look at a social problem and come up with multiple solutions. All of our learning is connected from Kindergarten-8th grade!  

A Big Heart Takes Small Steps

Thinking win-win cultivates empathy and healthy relationships. If we seek first to listen to and understand the feelings and ideas of our family, friends, and colleagues, we are taking the first step to a win-win situation. 


We can approach relationships with an abundant heart and the belief that there is more than enough to go around. Win-Win thinking means that sharing is not losing. Young children can easily understand that if you cut a cake equally, everyone can have a piece. 


We practice perspective-taking when we think about what other people may want or need. We practice self-control when we can put our immediate desires on hold so that both parties can be happy. Win-win thinking means we are maturing and building empathy and patience!


Thinking win-win can be a challenge at first, but with time and practice, we see that it is the best way forward. We encourage our students to reflect on what makes a situation tough, look at it from another student’s perspective, and use a creative lens to come up with new solutions. 


Make a win-win for your family and enroll your child for free at PACE Academy today!


About PACE Academy 

Dr. Joseph F. Pollack Academic Center for Excellence (PACE Academy) is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through eighth grade in Southfield, Michigan. At PACE Academy, we empower our scholars to realize their fullest potential through meaningful educational opportunities. We partner with our families and community in preparing our scholars to become dynamic leaders in the 21st century by celebrating the importance of collaboration and accountability in all we do. Join our growing school, enroll today!