What is the Opposite of Win-Win?/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 18, 2018


In mediation theory, the term Win-Win is used quite often. The need to get both sides to “win” on some important points is never overstated. But do people really try to achieve Win-Lose? A textbook example of Win-Lose is discussed in a piece for the Wall Street Journal (10/17/18) by William A. Galston. This is how the author describes President Trump’s “handbook for governance”

* Winners are admirable, and losers are contemptible.
*There is neither dishonorable victory nor honorable defeat.
*There’s money and everything else.
*The core of human existence is competition, not cooperation.
*We should do as much good as possible to friends and as much harm as possible to enemies.
*The end always justifies the means.
*Never admit anything important.
*Challenge the motives of your critics.
*It is better to be feared than to be loved.
*You either get your way or you don’t; nothing else matters.

If you believe in all or much of the above, don’t look to mediate anything. It will not work for you. For others, the mantra is the same old mantra: “Mediate don’t litigate”.