As Leaders, we all know the importance of compromise in our professional and personal lives.
Without it, things fall apart quickly. With it, opportunity improves and progress is made albeit sometimes slowly with challenges along the way.
However, your ego can get in the way along with personal feelings. Susan knows this first hand.
As a C-level executive, she has seen a lot and been through even more. At a recent conference she shared with me one of the reasons she beat the odds and rose to the top – not only as a woman but as a mother, wife and dedicated employee.
“Many managers around me were working towards the same goals as I was; climbing the corporate ladder. Leadership was in our blood. Most of them didn’t succeed. Time after time I would sit and watch as good people around me self-destructed, gave up or moved on. It wasn’t confidence or lack of ability that slowed them down or ended their careers; it was their desire to compromise.”
She explained, “People respect compromise Scott. They also appreciate it especially if you’re on different sides of an issue. They hate and I mean HATE those who are inflexible. Communication is so very important.”
“This is nothing new,” I replied. “Compromise has lead to many great accomplishments for thousands of years. What’s the key to reaching compromise and avoiding an impasse?”
“Well, it begins with repeating the other person(s) goals, demands, and desires back to them in a succinct manner,” Susan continued. “The key is making sure that each side understands what is at stake as well as the position of the each party involved. People who are not flexible lose in the long run. Those who can grit it out with less emotion and more productive dialogue win!”
“What does it matter the color of a rose? Red, yellow, pink. We can dye them to fit any occasion-even blue. Compromise allows conversations to move forward. Solutions are often reached and both sides can feel a sense of victory. Without this, you end up at an impasse,” she explained.
“That can cause ill will, lack of progress and a decrease in overall productivity and efficiency. No one needs that!” she concluded.
What are your challenges at work? Do you look for compromise and lead well or do you say it’s my way or the highway?