Start at the Finish

Since WinSome is an intentional strategy, and an abiding mindset, but not a rigid sequential system, you might wonder where to start with any individual person you seek to win.

Start at the finish.

This means that you picture in advance the kind of relationship you’d like to have with this person. Imagine it’s like that. How did you get there? Let’s travel back through time and find out.

A colleague at work is antagonistic toward your views, perhaps even insulting and mocking you…or attacking people who agree with you although he doesn’t actually know that you’re “one of those.”

The desired end result you imagine is a cheerful, friendly relationship with this colleague, who has come to enjoy a worldview similar to yours, and who votes accordingly. The chief characteristic of this relationship, and the mindset change, is that your new friend enjoys it as much, if not more than you do. In other words, you seek his good above your own. If you didn’t believe he’d be better off seeing the world as you do, you’d keep your mouth shut. Likewise, if your principles don’t bring you joy, and bring blessing to others, then you should consider exploring some that do.

So, in the end, we see a friend. You share much in common, though you are not clones. How did you get here? Why did your friend adopt some of your essential views?

Clearly he found them preferable to the ones he once held. He may have tried them out intellectually, or even experientially. But what convinced him to take a turn?

Imagine he was able to hear, perhaps for the first time, some ideas that sounded sweet, beneficial, and realistic. They are ideas that fit with the world as it is, and yet promise a better future.

But how did he hear them for the first time?

Imagine the messenger must have been someone who had credibility with him — perhaps through a track record of honesty, fairness, compassion and respect. In other words, the messenger earned a hearing from your colleague.

But how did the messenger (that’s you) get close enough to earn a hearing.

People naturally fear meeting new people, and only reluctantly go deeper into relationship than surface niceties — i.e. “How are you doing today?” In order to advance to friendship, one or the other must typically take the initiative by becoming a friend. Although friendship is a two-way street, it typically starts from one side or the other. Someone makes an effort. In our imagination experiment, that someone was you.

You treated your colleague with respect. You looked for ways to show kindness. You avoided intentional insults, and apologized for inadvertent ones. You were fun to be around, never taking yourself too seriously, quick with a laugh at your own expense. You showed sincere interest in your colleague, his needs, his hurts, his dreams. You asked about his family, his life — what he likes to do in his free time.

If you’re like most people, none of this comes naturally and it sounds like a lot of work. If you do it only to win political converts, you’ll wear yourself out. If you do it to make a friend, your reward will provide emotional dividends for years to come.

Who Will Come to Your Funeral?

Ultimately what do you care? You won’t be there, having shed this shell and moved on to the next phase of life. But, it’s interesting to contemplate in advance.

What would it take for you to live the kind of life that led to a standing-room-only funeral in a large auditorium?

It’s not about celebrity, or power, or wealth. It’s about the difference you make personally in the lives of those people who will line up to weep over your coffin…to mourn the prospect of life without you.

This is not some macabre mind game. It’s a vivid illustration of the power of a simple idea: Start at the finish.