We all compromise from time to time. The problem with compromise, though, is that someone gains a little and someone loses a little, so often it’s not a win-win scenario.
But what about compromising with yourself? The same thing can happen. Of course, there are times when you may need to do so, but when it morphs into a longer-term proposition, it can turn into the “settle for” syndrome.
When you settle, you give up something. If it happens repeatedly or when it lingers, you may even forget what you gave up.
Settling can create a slow seepage of spirit, which can be demoralizing. Your energy and enthusiasm can drop perceptibly, and if unchecked, this can be the beginning of a downward spiral.
Leaders need to be aware of settling from two perspectives. First, you need to be mindful that it isn’t happening to you. People around you can sense it even if it’s not transparent. If it perpetuates, subtle mood swings can affect those around you.
Second, be aware when it’s happening to members of your staff as their potential malaise can affect co-workers. You can step in and help, though, if they feel they are settling about something job-related. A conversation with you may correct a false impression or prevent an unnecessary downward dip in attitude.
For example, I’ve seen situations where someone in a department settles for a bare bones approach to a job when a manager constantly criticizes how they do their job. This attitude spreads throughout the department and before you know it, most of the employees are taking a more mechanical approach to their work and creativity is out the door. You need to undo this behavior before it becomes entrenched.
Look around to see if people are settling, and if they are, take bold strokes to change the direction. The spark of energy that results will make a big difference to your team.
Have a great week!