Communicating for Compromise

I’m a huge advocate of communication.  It’s one of the things that, when used well, greatly improves all aspects of your life.  When people stop communicating or use communication as a weapon is when things fall apart.  We witness the failures of communication around us in many divorces, political challenges and business scandals. Let’s note that some divorces are the result of good communication because both parties have communicated and reached the conclusion that they are better apart than they are continuing together.  But many companies and people fall apart because communication is poor or is filled with lies.  What these companies and people may or may not realize is that when their communications fail, it can directly and seriously affect many other people too.  Aung San Suu Kyi wisely said:

“You cannot compromise unless people talk to you.” 

This is another of my favorite “c” words.  Compromise is a powerful aspect of communication that most people don’t get around to using.  Some things may not be worth compromising on, either because they’re too important or too trivial, but in most cases it’s totally worth it to see if you can reach some kind of compromise.  But as Aung San Suu Kyi points out, compromise cannot happen without communication.

Compromise isn’t a dirty word, it’s simply a healthy part of a strong relationships.  When you and your partner have agreed to use communication and compromise as an active and essential part of your relationship, you’ll find that it almost becomes second nature to work through things and isn’t as big of a challenge or issue as you may have expected.  Compromise isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about making sure the relationship and both/all people in it are committed to making the relationship work and meeting the needs of all involved.  If you are truly committed to being a supportive partner, you’ll want to compromise and see if you can’t find solutions that will make both of you fulfilled in the relationship.

But as mentioned earlier, without communication there is no compromise.  If you do one thing this year, learn how to communicate with your partner.  You’ll find you’re less stressed, happier and things will go better then they have in the past.

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