Productive Conflict: Find a Compromise

Compromise is one of those things that’s easier said than done.

It’s also much easier to see a compromise between people in conflict when you’re not part of the conflict. When you are, however, compromise is that elusive old friend who’s name you can never quite remember.

But compromise is a powerful tool. It builds trust, shows humility, and creates a team-focused environment. Sometimes, when we aren’t willing to compromise, we’re sending the message that we think our idea/plan/thought is better or more valuable than someone else’s. We put people in win/lose situations when we think it’s “my way or the highway.” Buy-in from your team is difficult when you’re unwilling budge.

Compromise is give and take.

You may not get everything you want, but you’ll get some of it. The other side won’t get everything they want either, but they’ll get some of it. Enough for both sides to be content and move forward.

Are there times when compromise is not an option? Of course. One example would be for safety reasons. Another is for legal issues. Many conflicts, however, can have a resolution where there is compromise.

If you find yourself in a situation where compromise is too hard to see, consider bringing in a neutral perspective. Or step away from the issue until all sides have some time to calm down and revisit the issue later.

Finding a compromise may be easier for those with the S style and i styles than for those with the D style and C style.

This is the 8th post in an 18-part series discussing positive conflict behaviors. Effective leaders encourage productive conflict and discourage unproductive conflict. Follow along as we explore the positive impact of these behaviors.

Part 1: Finding the Root of the Problem
Part 2: Apologize
Part 3: Listen to Differing Perspectives
Part 4: Bring in a Neutral Perspective
Part 5: Separate Emotion from Fact
Part 6: Own Your Contributions
Part 7: Offer Reassurance

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