(B) Compromising style

Shaking hands

Motto: "You win some, you lose some."

If you use a compromising style, then you are both assertive and cooperative.  You are willing to trade some of your needs in order to win concessions from the other side.  This style can be effective when both parties are equally powerful and willing to cooperate, and they want to preserve the relationship for the future.  

One of the challenges to the competing style is that options have to be evaluated fairly - and they may be valued differently by each side.  For example, you offer to pay $30,000 for a new car, but the salesman wants $32,000.  The salesman offers to throw in a premium sound system with a value of $1500 and charge you $31,500.  If you value the sound system, this might be a good deal, but if you don't, it won't help to seal the deal.

The biggest problem with the compromising style is that both parties may end up giving away too much and neither ends up satisfied.  You have to be careful in a compromise that you aren't giving away something you can't live without.  Because each side goes into the negotiation with the expectation they will have to give something away, they may start with extreme positions which make it harder to reach a reasonable compromise.

If you scored high on Compromise:

  • Evaluate carefully the things you agree to give up during a compromise.
  • Make sure the other party isn't giving up something they'll regret later.
  • Be aware that both sides may be starting out with an exaggerated position in order to have something to give up.
  • Try to identify things that mean a lot to the other side, but not as much to you.  Give these up first.
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