I’ve been watching the debates and the bad actors in government. I’ve concluded that I’m a master compromiser when compared to this crowd. Then the mirror swings around and hits me on the forehead. See the chart below. Here’s Michael Brown’s 4-box on Compromise. I have no idea what “TKI” and “MBTI” stand for. Check out his full post on the theory behind it – I’ll let you hash that out with Michael and his high brow intellectual friends. I just wanted (needed) to get to the bottom line – how do I score? (Yes, it is always about the score. Yes, it is.) See the arrow pointing to my position. (And no one was looking when I nudged the star over to the right with some elbow grease. Hey, at least I’m not in the bottom right, right?. Poets/Artists, save your breath. I’m immune to the beatings on my lack of sensitivity on this topic.)
Then coincidently (by now you know there are no coincidences on my ride), I trip into the answer…
Compromise starts with an understanding of the other person’s point of view. It is grounded in a respect of the other side of the table. So says John Baldoni in his post in the HBR Blog Network titled Compromising When Compromise Is Hard:
“I see too many people who see compromise as a bad thing, an abandonment of principle…Strong willed people often become so consumed by the power of their ideas that it prevents them from examining and understanding another’s point of view. We discard their viewpoint before we even understand it, or we deny its validity before we’ve given it significant thought. When that occurs, any chance of compromise is lost. In reality, a willingness to compromise is a sign of great conviction: the conviction that the organization comes first.”
He states that we need to “Start by understanding the other person or group’s point of view. Our ego often prevents us from seeing what others see — and, worse, prevents us from seeing the merits of their case.”
Baldoni suggests that “To better understand their point of view, lead with open-ended questions and statements, those designed to stimulate conversation:
- Tell me about ____.
- Why do you feel that way?
- How can we do it better?
- Help me understand the issue more clearly.”
YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT