Negotiation Blog 2 When Can Compromise Represent A Strategic Win?

Adding Compromise To Your Tactical Armoury

Today we will shift your view of compromise from, “not quite winning” to something of value claiming a place in your negotiation toolbox.

In the UK we tend to go in for polarities – left and right, rich and poor, men and women or right and wrong.

The problem with our propensity, is that it misses the layers, the subtleties and the possibilities of achieving something greater – of uncovering and distributing more value.

Compromise can increase the size of the pie.

Going into talks aiming for a win-lose, will escalate macho posturing, position taking and create the perfect conditions for all-party deafness. It is a quick way to disengage the higher cerebral cortex and reduce the chances of mutual gain to virtually zero.


If we can take a more reconciliatory approach, a pragmatic one and one that is strategic, we may end up with a greater number of wins overall. Remember, in business, the most expensive customer is the one you have to replace after only one purchase. If you lose a customer with your bravado or brinksmanship, you are not playing the economic numbers for a career win, you are fuelling your short term EGO at the expense of your stakeholders.


When you are pushing a customer / supplier / purchasing executive with the fixed-eyed stare of a Texan sheriff, just remember that a compromise may be a much better outcome than the potential loss of everything.

The bigger picture

If you had to replace a partner of customers this year, what would the real cost be? Factoring in time, executive salaries, lost revenues and the fact that the new relationship might take up more hours and delay to get up to the efficiencies you enjoyed with the lost one.

Exercise – Grab an envelope and work out the cost of losing one of your established clients verses the short-term investment of compromising on a detail to get to the next sale.

Sometimes the results can be shocking.

Good luck, and, do give me a call if you have any questions – Matthew Hill   07540 65 9995.


About matthew

Matthew Hill is a leadership author, coach and trainer with a passion for helping newly promoted managers become inner and outer leaders.
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