Can You Compromise? Asks Life & Business Coach Eric Gilston

Compromise must be considered as a very key ‘life skill’ and one that is worth acquiring. However, the choice is yours, but the benefits quoted in this article are worth thinking about. What do you think?

Last month I was coaching a group of twenty 16 year olds. They had been set a real business challenge from a very big charity, and on the fourth day they had presented their findings to a panel of four.

To complete the week, I asked each of the students to tell me one thing that they had personally learned from the week, and no one was allowed to duplicate what anyone else had previously said. The answers I received just blew me away, especially when one said that she ‘had learned to compromise’, and that ‘sometimes her ideas were not necessarily the best ideas’.

This made me reflect on the week, and I could picture lots of occasions when many of the students had had to compromise, and they had done this like young adults without any arguments. Early on in the week, when they were discussing the various options of how to tackle the challenge, and how they should split themselves into teams, it was fascinating to just watch how they did this.

Lots of discussion took place, and compromise was a key skill that had to be utilised in order to move on. They all had their say, and the two joint Project Managers facilitated the discussion very well. Personally, I thought that they had done this very professionally, and firmly believe that this might not have been the case with a group of adults.

A great skill learned and one that will stand them in good stead in the future. How good would you say you are when it comes to compromising?

We most likely encounter situations every day where the word compromise comes into play, without even realising it. So, it plays a very important part in our life. My money says that some of us are very good at listening to both sides of a situation, analysing what is being said, and then giving in on certain points in order to move on. However, I’m sure that there are some of you reading this article who adopts the attitude that “it’s my way or the highway”. Does this ring a bell?

So, what about you? Time to get the mirror out, hold it in front of your face, and ask yourself, “How good am I at compromising?” You can then ask yourself, “why do I need to compromise anyway?”

Let me tell you where I come from on this one, and share the benefits with you:

  • If you compromise, you can move forward much quicker and keep a friend.
  • You might actually learn something about yourself that makes you a better person
  • You might actually realise that other people do have views, some of which are very good, and you can learn from them.
  • If you can face up to a confrontation with an open mind, then you will grow as a person.

So, what is the way forward?

It all begins today. If a situation arises where you are in discussion at work or at home, then initially take on the role of becoming a better listener than you are currently. Start to look at the good points that others have to say, add your own good points to the discussion, and then propose a way to move forward.

If you would like to know more about Compromise, then please feel free to contact me at