First Business

September 10, 2010

Compromise Takes Science to be Artful

In dealing with complex give and take, remember that no one party can have it all. Two opposing sides can’t afford to come up empty on certain issues. However, with cooperation and compromise from all parties, most things can be worked out.

Compromise is often looked upon as weakness. When President Harry Truman pursued a difficult program, he was asked whether he would settle for half a loaf. He said he would be willing to settle for one slice at a time.

Business requires constant compromise: negotiating contracts, hiring, closing sales. Certainly, there are times when you neither can nor should compromise on your principles, for example. Know what you need, what you are prepared to give up and on what issues you will never budge.

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