Is compromise the best way to solve a conflict?
It seems reasonable. It's quick and easy. "Let's make a deal," you think, "we'll do a little give and take. We'll COMPROMISE!" And, in fact, it can be a wonderful way to get things resolved quickly when there's a time crunch and the outcome is only moderately important. On the other hand, if compromise is always the way you are resolving conflicts at work or at home you might start to feel some resentment. After all, you are never getting your needs fully met. You always have to give up or give in at least a little.
If the issue you are discussing is important and the relationship is also important, you might want to try collaborating once in a while. With this approach to conflict resolution, you:
- Set aside the time to sit down and talk somewhere private without interruption;
- Ask the other person what they want and why it is important to them (their interests or needs);
- Share what you want and why it is important to you;
- Then work together to brainstorm options that would meet both of your needs!
The brainstorming part can be hard work. After all, you both probably feel pretty committed to your own desired outcome. It can be tempting to split the difference, but the struggle that comes with getting creative can not only lead to new solutions, it can strengthen your relationship with the other person--something invaluable.
Bobbie L. Dillon, M.S., empowers people to create Peace-Full Relationships™–fulfilling authentic relationships. Check out more resources and on-line and in-person classes at BobbieDillon.com. Follow her onTwitter, Facebook, & LinkedIn