How to compromise in a workspace with other people

Working with people will always present challenges. There’s no way around that, but it’s how we face those challenges that shows who we really are. Similarly, compromise can be difficult, but it is an essential part of everyday life and something we all find ourselves doing – even without noticing. Life is full of compromises, whether it’s compromising with yourself to have less chocolate so you can have a little more cheese, or whether it’s with your colleagues at work about who should change the printer ink or order the pens. However, it can also be hard to compromise, and sometimes you just need a nudge in the right direction on what’s worth compromising and how you should go about it.

Make it clear you’re open to compromise

As with any situation, people can’t read your mind; if the other person you disagree with doesn’t know you are willing to compromise, then you won’t move forward at all. So make it clear that you are ready to be open-minded and consider options that would benefit both of you. As with any environment, communication is vital, so don’t be afraid to explain your concerns. If you do this in a clear and concise manner, chances are people will listen.

Be transparent with precisely what you’re happy to compromise

Reaching a compromise you weren’t looking for or were not bothered about, on the other hand, is actually counter-productive and makes your effort to do so utterly pointless. Importantly, it is essential to establish the same principles with the other person. You may be willing to compromise a point or reason that they are not. Be confident in what’s important to you and convey this message clearly and without compromising your integrity.

See compromise as a positive and healthy solution

There are too many misconceptions surrounding compromise being a weakness, when in fact it is a strength. Being able to view things from the other’s perspective and find a healthy, productive solution will inevitably make the working environment a happier place for all those around you. Showing willingness to listen and adapt, then, will likely make coworkers respect you more, not less.

Suggest multiple solutions

This is a great way to show you’re willing to compromise on several fronts, rather than being completely rigid. Only you can decide what is worth compromising on, but if you can offer several alternatives, it will increase your chances of finding a solution. It would also help if you suggested that your colleagues did the same, in order to maximize potential solutions together without any one person compromising more than the other.

Talk to your boss

Sometimes you need a bit of advice, whether it’s from another colleague or someone higher up. Generally, if you aren’t getting anywhere and you feel you need to escalate, it’s better to take it higher up. Doing that will prevent any work gossip going around, which might only make things worse.

Keep an open mind and let things go.

Sometimes, there are battles we can’t win, and that’s okay. It means you’ve weighed up the pros and cons and decided that it’s not worth the hassle. If you keep an open mind and keep your options open, then it’ll create a positive environment and encourage healthier working relationships.

There are always situations where compromise is necessary, but if you stay open-minded your working life will be much easier!