Settling on a Slice

“Win-Win is a belief in the third alternative. It’s not your way, or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way” -Stephen Covey

Seeing eye to eye can be difficult, especially when pizza is on the line.  Many Friday nights Tess and I just aren’t on the same page as far as the pizza we’re craving. Whether we’re deciding between take n’ bake or delivery, thick vs. thin, or contemplating the necessity of extra cheese (it’s necessary); finding common ground can be tough. When the stars don’t align we have to put a little extra effort to meet in the middle.

Negotiating can seem strenuous with anyone we share our time with.  When it comes right down to the essential decisions in our lives (Dominos or Pizza Hut?) the answer is often very simple.

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The fan favorite.

Tess and I have gotten pretty good at finding a compromise and the one pizza we can always agree on is a Jack’s Frozen Pizza.  A Jack’s classic cheese or pepperoni cut in squares is a pizza we will always cherish together.  Though I was raised a Tombstone man, I now find myself on the other side of the tracks like Romeo after forbidden Juliet, smitten with the deliciousness of Jack’s.

For many, Jack’s is the archetype of frozen pizza. When I polled my friends the consensus seemed to be that Jack’s is the most popular go-to frozen, with almost 90% choosing Jacks.  Sometimes the beauty of pizza is in it’s simplicity, convenience and nostalgia and Jack’s is the epitome of all three.  So, it’s an easy pizza to bargain with.

Surprisingly, Jack’s originated in 1960 in the smelly small town of Little Chute, Wisconsin.  It’s interesting to think a pizza so yummy could come from a town that smells like a fart (supposedly it’s the paper mill).  They are now owned by Nestle, but still pride themselves on using 100% Wisconsin cheese.

img_8820.jpgThe Win-Win

For Tess and I, Jack’s is a Win-Win.  The Win-Win concept from Stephen Covey’s personal development classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People states “Win-Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying.  With a Win-Win solution all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan.”

Several reminders I give to myself when negotiating pizza with Tess. 

  1. Listen up.  To arrive at a win-win scenario we have to hear each other out.  We have to have a clear cut vision of what we’re trying to achieve.  If Tess wants stuffed-crust I need to know that, so I don’t order us a thin-crust.
  2. Give a little. The willingness to give a little can go a long way. If we open our mind to opportunities we may come across a pizza even better than the one we originally envisioned.
  3. Practice patience. When negotiating pizza it can take time to think up a proper plan that suits both parties.  Do we want a cracker thin-crust or little chew from some hand-tossed? In slowing down we can often find the best course of action.
  4. Detach from the outcome. By giving up any attachment to a particular pizza, we allow ourselves to find satisfaction in an alternative outcome.
  5. Be comfortable walking away. Some Fridays Tess ends up with Thai food and I end up with a frozen pizza and that’s alright. Stephen Covey describes this as the concept of a “No Deal” in which two people can’t come to terms and simply walk away in good graces.

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What pizza taught me:

Whether we’re figuring out Friday night pizza or making plans in life,  the ability to  sensitively negotiate can have a great impact on the quality of our relationships.  The solution can often end up as simple and yummy as a Jack’s frozen pizza.

What I’m eating:  Jack’s pepperoni and sausage

What I’m reading: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  -Stephen Covey





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