05 December 2012
Lessons from the Fiscal Cliff
When did compromise become a dirty word?
The search for a solution to the country's fiscal cliff has an eery parallel to my business search for a solution with a challenging client. My experience is that Americans are pretty pragmatic, including those who are passionate about something. Most of us know that there is a lot of common ground on thorny issues. I don't know anyone who thinks we can continue to ignore debt forever or that low income seniors have an obligation to eat less so the top 2% can spend the winter in Hawaii. And yet, compromise seems to have become a dirty word. So, I'd like to propose a contest: Re-brand "Compromise."

The best I've come up with is "common ground", but it lacks panache. I figure if torture can be re-branded to "enhanced interrogation" and all uber rich Americans are now "job creators", we ought to be able to make "compromise" palatable, even attractive and just get the job done.

So, back to my client challenge. Words matter, to quote my governor, and so does mind set. Sometimes, it is best to set ego aside and find a solution. After all, it is rare that there is not a fair amount of common ground and a shared goal with every client. Are you listening, Washington? If there isn't, just end the relationship now and move on. So yes, I sometimes have to remind myself to just get the job done, put my ego and anger away and find the humor. And there is always plenty of humor! Just turn on late night TV or go online and you will find plenty of silliness about the current political impasse. 

There will be a prize for anyone who can re-brand compromise. All I ask is that you hurry. I can't take this on the news and in my work at the same time. My business challenge? I am gritting my teeth, but we are well on our way to a solution for that, too.

Posted by jane bright at 4:54 PM in Communication | Link

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