When teaching “Transforming Conflicts” in a workshop, we got the question of the Compromise. Why not COMPROMISE? Would that not be the solution towards Win-Win?

Imagine this picture: you are to choose between wearing sporty and classy shoes. What would the compromise be? Wear the left sporty and the right foot classy, right?

Chris Voss, in his book “Never split the difference” says: “the great problem with compromise is that it has come to be known as this great concept, in relationships and politics and everything else. Compromise we are told quite simply, is a sacred moral good”.

Why do we compromise? Sometimes it is because it is the easiest way out and feels like at least we got something out of it. For a person that is not good at negotiations, it feels like it is a battle of the strongest character or the one that would shout the loudest or the one who has the strongest argument would win.

We do sometimes compromise to avoid conflicts and make the other counterpart happy. We are driven to avoid pain and suffering.

Instead in the co-active model of Transforming Conflicts we start with aligning and accepting the bigger picture; the common ground; the why are we in it together; the what is bigger than the conflict and seeing the bigger context.

Then we progress towards fully understanding each other’s point of view (not necessarily agreeing with it) without feeling like we are being threatened or having to choose of what is right or wrong.

After this step, we move to Agreement or Disagreement where new creative solutions are found. When the first two steps are taken in good spirits it is easier to move in agreement or disagreement. From there on we tab into the creativity of finding a solution that is win-win for both parties. A solution that we go wholeheartedly into and not out of fear or because we want to feel safe and avoid conflicts. Feel into and see what the creative solution is when we actually align, understand and create together.

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