Yeah, well, me too. But I’m working to get over it. Our reactions are based on our interpretation of the word, so we simply have to change it from a negative to a positive. It’s all in how we think.
See, recently I found myself in a situation where I felt forced to compromise and in doing so felt that the end result would reflect poorly on me as an individual as well as my business. Now, this wasn’t a question of ethics. Instead, it was a creative project that I volunteered to do (and was given the blessing to proceed as I saw fit) and after 30 hours invested in it, I was asked to add one particular element that would have stood out like a sore thumb. I no longer wanted to brag about all the beautiful work I did. I was embarrassed to be a part of this project. And I felt like my character and creative abilities were being sabotaged. In the end, it was agreed I could take the components that were provided for this particular element and re-do them to match the rest of the project. This way I got the look and feel I wanted and the other person got the information they wanted. Win-win.
Compromise is actually happening every day, whether we’re conscious of it or not, from my husband and I deciding on where to go on vacation and how long to stay, to feeding the cats 10 minutes earlier than usual or not.
So, how best to compromise and not let it bend us all out of shape?
- Realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Referencing the project above, I was completing this for a non-profit organization. Even though I was given the reins to run this show, didn’t mean it was my show. The ultimate goal was to portray them in the best possible light.
- Communicate with the other party; why are they making this request? Maybe the case in point is deciding where to meet friends for dinner. Each has his/her own favorite restaurant and believes that in itself is a good enough reason to win out over the other. My husband selected one based on nostalgia, but my friend chose one based on her knowledge of the quality of the food. Maybe pricing or location will need to be the determining factor.
- Figure out what really needs to happen; are any of the components unnecessary or unrealistic? When I go out of town, I have to make arrangements for someone (and sometimes multiple “someones”) to take care of my animals. It’s through the good graces of family and friends who are willing to deal with my clowder that allows me to go out of town. Is it vitally important that the cats get fed at 6:30 a.m. like when I am home? No. It’s unrealistic to expect that, so I allow the caretakers to arrive on their own schedule.
- Will all options on the table ultimately lead to the desired end result? Figure out which ones do and work only with them. When getting ready to go on vacation, I have a To Do List two pages long. Other people (clients, family, coworkers) also have needs they want met before I leave. Do these things further prepare me in taking a vacation like packing my clothes, setting up email autoresponders, or making sure there’s plenty of food for the cats while I’m gone? Not all of them! So there comes a time when knowing it will be done later is good enough.
- Know that in the end, it will still get accomplished. I know that the non-profit project will be a resounding success even though it’s not exactly as I envisioned it; dinner with our friends will be enjoyed no matter where we go to eat; the cats will not starve while I’m gone; and I will go on vacation, enjoy myself, and know I’ll be needed when I return.
Compromise is simply taking a slightly different route to your destination. You’ll still get there and it may even be more beautiful, fun and fulfilling than you imagined.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You sure can! Include this complete blurb with it: © 8/18/2012 Kimberly J. McCloskey, Professional Virtual Assistant, in her attempt to help all people improve their personal and professional productivity, shares her insight through her newsletter “Productive Pointers”. Her natural artistic abilities, organizational skills and a love for detail shine through her creative writing for blogs, newsletters, articles, information products and more for her clients. Learn more at www.VA-Partner.com.