Saturday, October 8, 2011

Different forms of compromise

There are different forms of compromise. The common and often poorer solution is to take two productive but polar view points, mash them together and end up with a result worse than either of the original suggestions. In this instance often neither side is willing to respect the view of the other and a compromise is the only solution - ill will felt on both sides and the solution is truly compromised.

A second type of compromise is to allow one or both methods to proceed and then objectively evaluate which is the better method. This is much harder to do, is rarer for the management required to position the parties positively, but shows real leadership when done well. Hopefully a third solution could be developed in this instance, superior to the original ideas and developed by all interested parties and that was not compromised by process (in the true spirit of searching for a win-win).

Sadly, in our land of committees and the wariness of managers to take the time required to make gutsy decisions, the perils of the first solution occur all too often. It is also frustrating to watch scrutiny be attacked as criticism when questioning whether a method is valid or whether a better solution exists. The scrutiny is interpreted as disharmony and the opportunity for developing innovative solutions is lost.

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