While we were focused on the meaning and merry of recent holidays and resolutions, the federal government quit working efficiently and effectively.
Oh, wait… allow me to insert a total opinion here… the federal government quit working efficiently and effectively years ago. (These past few weeks it’s just a little more, uh, obvious.)
All said, I’ve wrestled with a proper approach to respectfully acknowledge the state of current affairs. I’ve pondered if taking one side or another is wise. The temptation, however, is quickly doused when we find multiple public statements in which those now involved once said the exact opposite thing.
Hence in attempt to focus on something bigger, there is one aspect within that strikes me as a significant loss for our culture: we have become numb to the value of compromise.
Granted, like the millions of one-time Steven Covey students, I, too, heeded his call to be highly effective. Highly effective people work well with the masses — not simply a percentage-points majority. Highly effective people know Habit #4 — “Think Win-Win” — and habit #6 — “Synergize!” — each especially relevant here…
To “win-win,” a person prioritizes doing what’s best for everyone involved. How can everyone in the room “win,” so-to-speak?
Interactions are mindful of relationship, with an earnest desire to craft mutually beneficial solutions. A “‘win’ for all is ultimately a better long-term resolution than if only one person in the situation had gotten their way” — or one small percentage had gotten their way. It isn’t about being nice nor finding some quick fix. It’s about basing “human interaction and collaboration” on value and respect.
“Synergize!” recognizes the great good of teamwork. This habit certainly challenges us in regard to working with and even honoring the differences of those around us. As the “12min Blog” reviews: “Synergy makes you assimilate new points of view and achieve positive results by working together.”
Synergy doesn’t mean we all agree nor that we should even have to. Synergy instead creates “a unique solution that combines the best of the parts.”
Note that neither of the two above, highly effective habits embrace compromise. In fact, adherent to Solomon’s ancient wisdom decrying the absurdity of splitting one wanted baby in two, in rare times compromise is both foolish and impossible.
But my sense is that far too many have taken that too far. They perceive and promote simply the prospect of compromise as foolish and impossible. They convince themselves that they are more moral… more wise… more something. And just like that they dismiss — and disrespect — all others in the room.
Is there room for compromise in the current federal government standoff?
Of course there is.
Mr. President, Congressmen/women, Spokespeople and Leaders of both parties…
Respect us more by showing more respect for one another.
Think “win-win” — not ensuring the ethically-lesser “no-win-for-them.”
Compromise is not foolish. It’s also not impossible.