Take Your Power Back
We all like the idea of getting along.
In business relationships specifically, harmony is an essential ingredient in successful, long term relationships. If we have harmony, we have alignment, we have consensus (at least in terms of direction), we have the grounds for collective momentum.
The trick is in making sure that the basis for that harmony is real. Harmony isn’t about happiness, hugs and kisses. It’s often hard to get to, many times requiring debate, disagreement and (periodic) discontent. Achieving real harmony is almost always hard work. Because real harmony should be bred on the back of difficult conversations and an open airing of views, particularly dissonant ones.
So it’s incumbent on all parties to be open, to engage in the debate and have the hard arguments. It doesn’t help to “go with the flow”, to give in or, to acquiesce in the “interests of harmony”. That doesn’t help anyone, especially you (if you’re the one always doing the acquiescing).
Because while you think it’s a compromise, it isn’t. A compromise suggests both parties gave to get to a resolution. Here, the only one who gave in was you, and on things that actually meant something to you. And that doesn’t help anyone in the long run.
Look, I know it’s easy to let it go and just get along. We rationalize these things to ourselves all the time.
This isn’t that big a deal.
I’ll be able to change it later.
Or worse, it doesn’t matter to me. (Which is all fine - as long as it really doesn’t matter to you.)
Slowly but surely, though, these giveaways - that are explained away “in the interests of harmony” just chip at the block of confidence, of trust, of relationships.
They result in you giving your power away.
And I don’t mean power in the winner-takes-all, I-must-have-it-and-you-can’t sense. I mean personal power that is assertive and aligned with our values yet still generous and well-intentioned and thoughtful.
And when you give that kind of power - your power - away, you can never have harmony. There can only be disharmony.
The little compromises, the small gives? They don’t matter, so long as they truly aren’t important. It’s the big ones that’ll get you.
That’s the thing to remember. Don’t give away that kind of power.