Which of these phrases sounds best to you?
“Find the middle ground.”
“Let’s come to a compromise.”
“Can we meet somewhere in the middle?”
“Let’s work towards a mutually beneficial arrangement?”
Personally, I prefer the last one. The first three are overused and even misused. How does one define the “middle ground?” The concept alone is arbitrary and frankly, too subjective. Why? For starters, my definition of the “middle is always going to be slightly different than your definition. Additionally, the “middle” opens the door to too many outcomes. Finally, human nature never really allows us to be completely satisfied with the “middle.”
In business (and in life,) we need to let go of the misguided belief that every agreement should be 50-50. That’s simply not realistic in today’s environment.
Indeed, the best we can and should be working for is coming to arrangements that are, as stated above, “mutually beneficial.” We need to accept that 50 isn’t always mandatory. If we get 30 and the arrangement benefits everyone involved, shouldn’t we consider that a “win?” Too many worthy projects or ideas are indefinitely stalled or altogether scrapped because of our need for 50.
Further, not everything involved in a deal or agreement is tangible – so how exactly can it be precisely measured in numbers? As long as there is VALUE (numeric or otherwise,) and the “what’s in it for me?” question is satisfactorily answered, go for it!
Instead of working for the “middle ground,” work for the solution that benefits everyone. Life and business are not based on exact mathematical equations.
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