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The Power of Compromise

By John D. Baker

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Compromise occurs when each side in a negotiation gives up some of its demands and the parties conclude an agreement or settle a dispute due to such concessions. Except for the most rigid positional negotiators, compromise is the wild card that shapes and determines success in almost every deal.

Never-the-less, the role of compromise in human interaction is under attack by many persons in the United States today. With its widely polarized political parties and vocal partisan boosters, the demand for “No Compromise” has captivated much of the national political landscape. The result is a gridlocked Congress and a growing dissatisfaction with all political parties by an electorate that feels cheated of its hopes by an ineffective and broken government. Without a willingness to compromise, no deal has become the norm on the major issues of the day.

Compromise, however, is alive and flourishing in the interactions of individuals throughout the United States and the world. It is the catalyst for many, if not all, complex deals and the essential ingredient that makes the Win-Win approach to negotiating work.

United States as well as world history is filled with examples of the power of compromise in action. Let us look at a few historical illustrations of its use and value in U.S. history to further clarify the range and depth of the power of compromise.

The Power of Compromise by John D. Baker


Copyright © 2014 John D. Baker
Copyright ©   2014  The Negotiator Magazine
The Negotiator Magazine  November 2014