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Compromise: It Works, But There is a Catch

When it comes to effectively leading a meeting and dealing with conflict that naturally arises within any organization, compromise is often touted as the best way to come to a resolution. Perhaps that’s because it is used so often, or because it addresses people’s emotions. Compromise is one way to resolve conflict, but there are drawbacks (more thoughts about the drawbacks of compromise here>> ).

A compromising style can be adopted when you want everyone to feel as if they’ve won. The objective of this approach is to strive for agreeable solutions. Compromise might be the best response to conflict when:

  •  Both parties stand to gain
  •  An ideal or quality solution is not required
  •  Time is short
  •  A temporary solution is needed for a complex problem (a later problem solving discussion could be held to determine the best solution)
  •  The parties in the conflict are equals

TRAP: The drawback with compromise is that everyone loses something and the most ideal solution is not usually reached. Keep in mind that when you decide to compromise, your focus shifts from finding the best possible solution to assuaging the emotions of the moment.

TIP: When using this approach, it’s important that you openly acknowledge what each party has surrendered as part of the compromise. It’s also important that you let each party know that you respect their ability to reach a compromised resolution for the benefit of the others in the meeting.

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