‘But it HAS to be this way’.
‘Can’t you just change?’
‘I don’t think you understand what I want’.
‘You’ve got it all wrong’.
I’ve heard these statements a lot, and said them plenty of times myself. It sometimes seems like life is a battle of wills, with yours pitted against everyone you encounter – each person with their own (and often very different!) ideas, values, goals, and motivations.
Perhaps the only way to get through this minefield of potential arguments, upsets, and stress is to develop one essential quality that seems to be missing in many situations. The ability to be reasonable. To look at a situation objectivity, and then find ways to compromise so that both parties, if not feel like they’ve ‘won’, at least walk away knowing that they’ve been heard, understood, and catered for.
Trying to deal with a completely unreasonable person is something I’m sure everyone finds incredibly frustrating. Nothing you say seems to be listened to, your point of view is given next to no credibility or weight … it’s a very disempowering position to be in. And I cringe to think of the times I’ve done this to others.
‘Compromise’ is a word I’ve viewed in the past as somehow weak. Something that people who have unwillingly been backed into a corner are forced to do. But over time I’ve started to realise that it is one of the best leadership qualities a person can offer. Discussing, looking at options, actually listening … these are all things a reasonable person excels in.
This is the kind of person others want to work with and for.
This is the kind of person we can all be, if we try to: