In a non-zero sum game, the interacting parties’ aggregate gains and losses can be less than or more than zero.

Trade between countries is generally considered a non-zero sum game that is positive: the goods or services that each party sends have less value than those received.

By contrast, a zero sum game is when one party’s gain is another’s loss, and the total gain or loss for all parties involved is zero.

Achieving a (positive) non-zero sum game, then, is a productive use of one’s resources. However, due to incomplete (or asymmetric) information, each party may not act in its and/or the collective’s best interests.

Therefore, when a party wishes another party to act in a way that leads to a win-win situation, sometimes an important action is to share information – be open, honest and transparent about the possible actions and consequences to assist in decision-making.