power of compromiseJeez, I didn’t get the memo.

Did you?

The one about letting us know compromise isn’t acceptable anymore.

Somewhere along the way, compromise (defined by Merriam-Webster as a settlement of differences by consent reached through mutual concessions) got confused with capitulation or collusion. It’s portrayed as selling-out or being a weakling.

My parents and experience have taught me that compromise is a natural part of life, love, and leadership.

Mom and Dad did a great job in teaching me what’s illegal, immoral and unethical. Not compromising one’s values and beliefs around legality and ethics makes perfect sense, yet many of the situations we face every day don’t reach that status.

Expecting to get your way all the time, on everything especially on things that aren’t illegal, immoral and/or illegal, is a recipe for gridlock and an unhappy life.

Aren’t most things about give-and-take? About playing well in the sandbox together?

So the next time you feel your spine getting stiff and your attitude getting rigid when someone has a different viewpoint, pause and reflect so you can get comfy with the value compromise brings.

Getting comfy with compromise

Share in both the process and the results.

Compromise isn’t about domination and/or submission. Rather, it’s about an informed and intentional process in which two parties put everything on the table, have a frank dialogue, and jointly discover and/or create a solution that serves the best interests of both.

He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious. ~Sun Tzu

Know and be flexible with what’s a “must have” and what’s nice to have.

I once had an employee who went to the mat on using Times New Roman font in a training manual when the rest of the project team preferred Arial!  So much drama for a font face. Being willing to collaborate with others, to play in their sandbox and they in yours, usually results in a richer outcome than one could have produced on their own. Plus there’s an added benefit of broadening your horizons based on learning from others.

Every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. ~Edmund Burke

Be willingness to think in terms of “we” and “others” rather than  just “me.” 

We all bring distinct ideas of how we want things to be. Yet it’s important to be able to distinguish between “mission critical” components where’s little-to-no wiggle room and those items on which there’s space to flex.

A project manager who is willing step back from the team and allow others to add their ideas, as well as their labor, to make the project come along may sacrifice her own pet ideas for the good of the whole. That is compromise of the highest order. And it is also known by another name–leadership. ~CIO Magazine

What say you?


Image source before quote:  morgueFile.com



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