“Mind the Gap”, in the London Underground, is the constant warning to “see and beware” of the space between the platform and the train door…literally a matter of life and death! Boarding my blog, however, “Mind the Gap” is a 2-minute focus on the “valuable difference” between words or concepts that, without much thought, are otherwise used interchangeably.
What IS the difference, for example, between Sacrifice and Compromise?
Sacrifice is defined as an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god. You wouldn’t want to kill or be killed right?
The word sacrifice can focus our subconscious on “loss” or “death.” Where there is loss, there is suffering. Sacrifice “vibrates” negatively. When people think they are making a sacrifice, it’s associated with the thought that they are losing something. Sacrificing can lead to resentment, thoughts of failure and other negative emotions.
Compromising, on the other hand, can focus the subconscious on GAIN. Even though there is a movement away from 100% of what is desired, Compromising always ends in BOTH parties GETTING something they did not have before. Sacrifice is a PART of Compromise but when we are unwilling to lose, we are really unwilling to GAIN!
It is saying NOTHING new to you to say that Compromise can lead to long-term success, great partnerships and positive emotions. But maybe THIS is new:
“There is no Compromise without Sacrifice…but when Sacrifice IS THE FOCUS of Compromise (when the focus is on loss), it makes true Compromise tougher.”
Moreover, Sacrifice alone…without occurring in the context of Compromise…is really more like the difference between Spending and Investing.
Sacrifice = Spending. Spending is transactional in that you pay a price and you get an item or service. The money is gone never to be seen again…and the “value” remains located in the usefulness/enjoyment of the item purchased. Sure, sometimes people resell things they have “spent” money on…but selling a $5,000 sectional couch in a garage sale for $100 can hardly be considered an investment.
Meaning, if the money isn’t totally gone, it’s mostly gone when we spend. And that can be how we FEEL when we “sacrifice”…that someone we cherish is gone…and if we focus on that loss more so than the value we place on what we’ve gained, we’re in emotional jeopardy.
Compromise = Investing. Investing is transformational because despite the “loss” upfront, the money can come back and even grow over time. Buying a home is a great example of investing because there are several “compromises” that can occur along the way. First, when “compromising” on elements of the home that may be less than ideal, but are not “deal breakers” (the tile, carpet, window coverings or type of grass on the lawn, for example, may be less than ideal but not SO undesired that they overpower the “must haves” like location, square footage, yard size, kitchen/bathroom size and design…for examples). Then, in the offer and counter offer process there may be more compromises that occur on the way to the final investment. Ultimately, real estate APPRECIATES in value (vs. a car that DEPRECIATES in value as soon as it leaves the dealership). As I write this, homes in my zip code that were $800K 12 months ago are selling for over $900K now.
This is why I’m a proponent of Compromise as a form of Leadership! It takes an evolved person to embrace Compromise when faced with a situation that requires SACRIFICE and multiple parties to agree. Compromise is focused on the future and a bigger picture (return on investment). Focusing on “sacrifice” can produce fear of loss and ruin an otherwise profitable deal, venture or relationship.
When you are in a position to Lead…and when that leadership requires negotiation, tough spending/investment decisions regarding time, money or other resources, remember to Mind The Gap between Sacrifice and Compromise in your decision making and I predict greater success for you and your business/teams!
photo credit: handshake via photopin (license)
Jeff Klubeck is the owner of Get A Klu Inc., he studied Communication at San Diego State University, and Lives in San Diego, California. He is a Coach, Professor and Influencer. A Genius in his own right.