This style aims to find an expedient, mutually acceptable solution that partially satisfies both parties in the conflict while maintaining some assertiveness and cooperativeness. “This style is best to use when the outcome is not crucial and you are losing time; for example, when you want to just make a decision and move on to more important things and are willing to give a little to get the decision made. We explore pros, cons, offer feedback and how to be successful with this style as your dominant!

Benefits of Compromising 

  • Pragmatism: Often leads to a deal that is good enough without the necessary effort of trying to get both parties everything they wanted. 
  • Speed and Expediency: Allows you to settle on a conclusion quickly. 
  • Fairness: Creates resolutions that aim for equal gains and losses for both parties.
  • Maintaining Relationships: Allows both parties to meet halfway and reduces strain on the relationship (Thomas 13). 

Costs of Compromising

  • Partially Sacrificed Concerns: Since both individuals’ concerns are compromised, it leaves some residual frustration. The issue isn’t fully resolved and may flare up again. 
  • Suboptimal Solutions: Settling for Compromising decisions is of lower quality than successful collaborative decisions. 
  • Superficial Understanding: Agreements often gloss over differences with fuzzy statements that don’t accurately mirror the beliefs of the individuals who disagree. (Thomas 14). 

Related Feedback and Tips for When and How to Use The TKI Compromising Mode – Compromising solutions are often not the first go-to solution when dealing with conflict, but there are times that they are the most efficient and practical solutions to a problem. However, it is important to remember that compromising does require for both parties to partially sacrifice parts of their concerns. There are certain conflicts that involve concerns so vital that even a partial sacrifice is not an option and during those situations compromising will simply not be an option. Such options are best left for the collaborating or competing conflict-handling modes. Compromising is best suited for issues that are of intermediate importance to you; important enough to matter, yet not critical. When choosing to utilize the compromising mode you should make sure that you both take turns bearing small costs. If either individual starts to provide numerous favors in a row it can lead to resentment and even disdain. Therefore, making sure that you return each other’s favors in a comparable way is very important (Thomas 29). Compromising is utilized in many cases when a collaborating or competing method is simply not a practical choice. There are a few scenarios where this may come up. Sometimes the compromising conflict handling mode is utilized when a temporary solution to a more complex issue is required. There may be a better time to come up with a permanent solution using a different mode, but for the time being the compromising solution allows for work to continue. This mode is also used when two individuals with equal power are faced with a win-lose issue where collaboration is not working and the competing mode is unlikely to be effective. In other cases, one (or both) of the individuals realize that more assertive modes would harm a relationship and compromising can help avoid this harm (Thomas 30). 

What Does Successful Compromising Entail – Shifting from Competing to Compromising While working on becoming more efficient at using the compromising conflict mode you can benefit from developing specific behavioral skills. One of the hardest behavior skills to develop properly is to transition smoothly from a competing mode to a compromising mode where you make partial concessions without giving away too much. Giving away too much may give the inadvertent side effect of looking weak. This is especially a problem if you begin to compromise while the other person is still competing. Using “we” language is a good tactic that can help emphasize the need for compromise without appearing weak. Once both parties are committed to compromising it is also important that your partial concessions are reciprocated. You may need to discuss a few different partial concession options before one can be agreed upon (Thomas 30-31). The second, and equally important aspect of compromising is being able to focus on fairness during the concession-making process. One of the best ways to do this is to insist on a criterion of fairness at the beginning of negotiations so that surprises don’t pop up in the middle of negotiations, causing unnecessary toxicity. It is also highly beneficial to remain as objective as possible by utilizing neutral sources when collecting information. If this is handled properly then oftentimes the application of the criterion that was agreed upon in advance will go much more smoothly, therefore helping you get the most out of the Compromising conflict handling mode (Thomas 30).