Compromising vs Yielding

I find it funny how people confuse the concepts of “compromising” and “yielding” .  When you google the word compromise, the definition that comes back is “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.”  A lot of times in a work setting if there is a dispute or disagreement where there is no clear correct answer, management folks will tell the parties to compromise.  But often people will call the settlement a compromise when in fact it is nothing of the sort.  Here is an example of a compromise and a yielding.

Compromise
Problem
During scrum planning, an engineer wants to spend some extra cycles refactoring some code.  The product owner wants to spend those extra cycles building a feature that has been promised to clients for a while. Solution
The product feature gets prioritized this sprint but next sprint double the amount of time is allocated towards refactoring pushing off other product features.
Yield
Problem
Time was allocated to build user libraries for an app.  An engineer wants to build the first library in python since most clients use python.  An internal team would like the engineer to build the first client in Java because they use java.
Solution
The java library is built to gain favor with the internal team.

Do you see the difference?  There is nothing wrong with settling an argument with yielding.  Sometimes someone has to make an executive decision, there is political pressure, or there is just a best choice.  However, I see no good reason to call it a compromise.  I guess saying something is a compromise makes the party yielding feel better about themselves.  But to me that misuse of the term is just insulting a person’s intelligence.  Transparency and honesty will make people feel better than trying to play a mind trick with them.

Good Luck,
-Larry

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