Building Commitment and Loyalty
This is phase three of building relationships- John Gottman, PhD
Yes you can apply these concepts to business, as well as couples and family/friends.
“There is a third phase of love, which comes after building trust-building true commitment and loyalty. Does the couple cherish one another and nurture gratitude for what they have or do they nurture resentment for what they think is missing. Do they make a deeper love last a lifetime or do they nurture betrayal? Erosion of trust is not the same thing as betrayal. It is a different metric.”
A zero sum game has a win/loss mentality. One person comes out as the winner and the other is the loser. Who wants to be the loser in a romantic relationship, or in business for that matter? If you are looking at situations in your relationship and trying to win, having the other person lose, instead of looking for ways to benefit both of you- you are sowing the seeds for betrayal. If your gain has to be from my loss, it is a zero sum game. Remember the Nash Equilibrium? He argued for the maximizing of payout for all involved.
Look at politics today and business they seem to favor a situation in which there is a winner or loser. Why do we feel so betrayed by our businesses and politicians? It is because they seem to have made it so that one person wins and another loses- and perhaps rigged the system in so doing. We recognize that there are some situations where this is natural and yet we are pitting people against one another. Healthy, fair competition has its place pitting people against one another does not.
Repeatedly, in counseling sessions, I hear one partner say, "I am not always wrong, you know." or "How come I always have to lose?" Remember, if you want to be away from the betrayal metric, you go for a situation in which everyone wins!
While it feels better to do this, remember that there are deeper implications of being selfish and going only for your own good-
“Husbands in zero-sum kinds of relationships died much earlier than husbands where there was cooperation- true even controlling statistically for husband age and health… faster baseline myocardial contractility, and chronically higher blood pressure- the betrayal metric has life threatening consequences!” Gottman reminds us.