“Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together.” Robert Redford
I belong to a spiritual group and we’have been puzzled lately about how to handle a situation. Our team leader is stepping down, and others who would make good leaders are too committed to take on more responsibilities. Finally, one long-time member agreed to be the leader with the understanding that he needed “back-up.” Three of us offered. Out of this situation, we created an agreement that all four of us would work together as a team of leaders. Since we are all devoted to the success of the group, this was an excellent solution.
Learning to Love Compromise
I’ve often been in situations where one person wanted to dominate, and they felt diminished by having to cooperate or compromise. Having to share our power requires a calm ego, an open-mindedness, and an acceptance that we may not know it all. In the news this week, Barbara Bush said, “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word.” I agree with her. Compromise is one way of cooperating. It requires looking at the options or differences and identifying the most important areas and how they can be implemented for the good of all.
Valuing Cooperative Skills
As a teacher in high school teaching English, I often used small group discussions or group projects to let students be creative and interactive with the literature. However, I think that what they learned about mutual respect and cooperation was far more important than what they learned about the literature. They learned to listen to each other, express a difference of opinion respectfully, and work together in order to create an excellent project that was a result of all their ideas and that fit the assignment requirements and expressed their point of view.
Releasing Resistance to Create a Cooperative Spirit
Don’t we all need those skills? Don’t the leaders of all nations need those skills? I realize it isn’t always easy to be cooperative when we feel things aren’t going in a direction we like. Unless the decisions being made are destructive or unhealthy, it is always a good idea to ask, “Why am I resistant to this idea?” Ego always has a reason for resisting. At that moment, if we are willing to look at our own patterns, we may discover our resistance is very personal.
Maybe this situation mirrors a situation we experienced in childhood or with a spouse or friend. By having the courage to honestly examine our thoughts and acknowledge the issue behind the resistance, we can separate our personal issues from the current discussion and release the resistance. This awakening frees us to act with a more cooperative spirit.
When have you had to put aside your preferences in order to solve a problem through compromise?
© 2012 Georganne Spruce
Related Articles: To go deeper with this topic, view Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships, and don’t miss this one: Trying to Work With a Boulder