Do you believe in compromising to get what you want? Catherine McGuire, my guest on the podcast this week, doesn’t. She fixed herself firmly on achieving her goals and would not compromise in the process. She believed it would happen and she made it so. Let's talk about compromise. When to do it and when not to!
Compromise is often referred to as being a good virtue to hold. But is it? One of the most significant drawbacks of compromise is that it can require individuals or groups to abandon or dilute their core values and principles. When you compromise on deeply held beliefs, you risk losing your integrity and moral compass. This can lead to a sense of self-betrayal and erode the trust others place in you.
Mahatma Gandhi reportedly said 'that all compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.'
Know what your core principles and values are and hold firm to your integrity. There is an art to compromise. It requires a delicate balance, thoughtful dialogue and the understanding of others' perspectives.
Stephen Covey in his fabulous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, describes compromise as a low form of a Win/Win. Both parties give and take. It isn’t creative or synergistic. Covey says that with compromise, respectful communication works in independent situations and even in interdependent situations but the creative possibilities are not opened up. He shares a wonderful example of a couple trying to work out a solution without either party having to compromise. A solution that is mutually beneficial and is better than what either of them originally propose. They listen empathically and seek first to understand. They listen for one another’s values and concerns which need to be accounted for.
Covey shared that this is known in Buddhism as the 'middle' way or 'higher' way. It does not mean compromise. They look to solve their problem together. Not on opposing sides but on the same side together working to create a solution that works for both of them. They synergise. That way they both get what they want.
There is a time and place to compromise. Absolutely, it can resolve conflict, lead to innovate solutions and strengthen relationships however it can also create conflict, delay decision-making and weaken relationships. In Catherine’s case, not willing to compromise on her goals and values helped her to remain focused on achieving her intentions. She held firm to what she wanted and ensured that every day she took a step that would lead her closer to her desires. It is this refusal to compromise on what really matters that led her to Design a Life of Freedom.
Focus on Synergy not Compromise!
ACTION POINT - To find the best solution to your problems, synergise not compromise!