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The Value Of Compromise

September 5, 2013

When is compromise called for? Only in the face of conflict, specifically, a conflict of:

  • needs
  • values
  • perception
  • reasoning

Conflicting needs are the only situation that actually call for compromise, which is a matter of “splitting the difference”.

A conflict of values calls for separation of interests, because values cannot be reliably compromised, and shouldn’t be.

Compromise used to resolve a conflict of perception or reasoning is often a way of avoiding further, often challenging, communication, which could reveal the underlying conflict of needs. “Agreeing to disagree” is a cop-out. Instead of compromising, articulate.

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