Say No to Conflict and Yes to Compromise

Veerendra Jaitly

Mahatma Gandhi ji had said once, “An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.” This statement is 100% correct and majority of the people in this world believe in it. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are quoted and remembered even today across the world. And so are the teachings of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela and many other peace loving leaders this world has produced.

The world continues to exist even today because majority of the people are decent, peace loving, God fearing and believe in the concept of universal brotherhood irrespective of what their religion and sect preaches. They follow a particular religion just because their parents belonged to that religion. They may or may not follow the teachings of their own religion because they respect every other human being and their right to have independent thoughts. This world continues to survive because of such good people despite a couple of world wars and even ongoing terrorism across the world.

According to me, 90% of the people in this world are very decent and believe in the concept of co-existence and mutual respect. They don’t like conflicts and even if there are some, they are willing to compromise. They believe in the concept of ‘You walk ten steps forward and I shall walk twenty steps forward’. This is the basic human nature. The world can become a great place to live if the leadership remains in the hands of such good people. But sometimes, the leadership falls in the hands of the other type who are basically trouble creators. They may be dictators or grab the power through democracy also because of the inaction, laziness and ‘I don’t care’ attitude of the good people.

The problems starts when such self-centred, selfish, jealous and cruel people assume power anywhere. They don’t care about others. They believe in demolition rather than construction. They believe in ‘My Way is The Highway’ concept. They run their organization according to their own whims and fancies. They are not God fearing. They believe too much in their own capability and their own correctness. They are not ready to accept the other’s point of view. They don’t want to agree that the digit ‘6’ looks ‘9’ when looked from the other side. Such people become instruments of decline, destruction, disease and death depending upon where they dwell and the organization they drive. They enjoy the ‘Conflict’ and the word ‘Compromise’ is not in their dictionary.

The society has to be careful from such selfish people. Some of them are a bit less selfish to the extent that they extend their selfishness to their immediate family members and sometimes to their relatives and close friends. Such people can’t be believed. They create their empire on the foundation of falsehood, treachery and deceitfulness. But they crumble, the moment decent lot gets united. That is the time, they offer a leaf of ‘Compromise’ to the silent decent united majority which otherwise they never believed. It is the duty of all peace loving people of this world that they should remain united and never give a chance to such enemies of humanity to usurp power anywhere.

At home also, we do have conflicts with our parents, our brothers and sisters and even between husband and wife. Majority of us in most of the cases are able to come to a compromise and continue to live a happy life. And how do we come to a compromise? We look at the problem from the other’s point of view also and then our understanding of the problem immediately changes. If both the parties are willing to have an empathetic attitude, the conflict just disappears and a healthy compromise takes place. And the families, that don’t compromise ultimately disintegrate. I am sure you will know a number of cases of some family business empires that just vanished due to conflict between the siblings. At the same time, there are stories of survival and even growth despite conflicts because the warring parties decided to have an amicable compromise and divided their assets satisfactorily.

The first step to resolve a conflict and come to a compromise is that both the parties should be willing to have a dialogue without any pre-conditions. I had the opportunity of listening to a talk on “Happiness and Stress Free Life” by His Holiness Dalai Lama ji on 24th Apr, 2018 at IIT Delhi. He gave a great mantra to resolve all the conflicts that the world is facing today. He said, “Let this century be ‘The Century of Dialogue’.” There is no problem in this world that can’t be solved through dialogue. He actually hinted at his preparedness for a dialogue with even Chinese leadership for a compromise on the issue of Tibet. The North Korean supremo Kim Jong-un has also finally expressed his willingness to have a dialogue with the United States of America.

In the corporate world also, we face so many conflicts. Within the company, departments fight and within the departments, individuals fight and the companies fight with other companies. Everyone wants to protect their interest. In fact, the consortium or federation of a particular type of industries join hands together when they bargain with the government or other bodies for better regulatory laws that will result in their mutual growth.

Normally in business, the gain of one results into the loss to the other. This is the case in most of the cases. If my company wins a contract against stiff competition, obviously it is a gain for my company and a loss to the other company that has lost the contract. But then, let there be a fair competition with transparency and ethics of business. Every good company accepts this and such winning and losing the contracts normally should not lead to any conflicts. They accept this as part of the game.

The next level of conflict comes when my company has to deliver the project. My company must deliver within the triple constraints of time, cost and scope. The customer should be happy with the quality, my company delivers. Now if the project manager wishes to cut corners and tries to make additional profits, obviously, the customer will be unhappy and there will be unnecessary conflict of interest. Here we must follow the ‘Win-Win’ principle. My company has to make reasonable profits to continue to remain in business. And simultaneously, the customer also deserves to get a good product or the service for which it has paid. This philosophy will avoid the conflicts between the buyer and the seller.

In nut shell, avoid conflicts. But then they do arise sometimes despite your best intentions. So be always ready for a compromise for a healthy living and peaceful co-existence. But your readiness for compromise always should not be construed as your weakness. On the other hand, it should reflect your greatness. Bargain from a position of strength but you don’t have to bully if the other party has a weak position. But also remember that a habitual offender may have to be taught a lesson sometimes once for all. Perpetual enemies of humanity if not ready to mend their ways must be dealt in a language they understand. There should not be any mercy or any compromise on that.