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Persuasion Principles to Promote Compromise

Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation

My desire to become the best leader for my team made me read recent studies and visit several online courses to understand what steps and strategies can improve our company. In the list of available ideas and recommendations, my attention was paid to compromise and its relation to persuasion. Employee satisfaction is one of the factors that determine the quality of a working process and the results of employees’ performance. Therefore, I began organizing several quizzes and surveys to clarify what my people want to do and can actually do. I discovered that not all employees were ready to accept my opinion but had to agree just because they did not want to initiate scandals and discussions. I asked why they did not offer me some compromises so we could eliminate such situations. The answer surprised me that no one said about the possibility of compromise. Therefore, I decided to combine the principles of persuasion and the conditions under which compromise is promoted.

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The results of my research turned out to be another successful contribution to the development of our organization. People started offering their ideas, communication between my employees and me was encouraged, and new discussions took place. I discovered several talented people from different departments who could be promoted because of their professionalism and abilities to find compromises under different conditions. It was a pleasant experience in my practice that improved my leadership qualities, persuasion techniques, and communication skills.

Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization

As a rule, not many people recognize the worth of the relationship between such concepts as compromise and persuasion. If a person wants to persuade another person, compromise is usually not an option because a new idea or activity must be offered and approved. When leaders focus on persuading a team, compromises should be avoided because of the goals and true intentions of all the participants. To make sure that persuasion can promote compromise, several models and theories must be discussed and evaluated.

Theory 1

The distinctive feature of the heuristic-systematic model is its possibility to recognize variables that may influence people during persuasion, and bias is one of them. According to this model, there are certain environmental and cognitive constraints that people may have in the two types of message processing – systematic and heuristic (Teng et al., 2015). To be effective, persuasion should have motives, goals, and proofs to correct opinions and adopt necessary opinions.

Theory 2

As a type of developmental theory, Gottfredson’s theory of circumscription and compromise focuses on career choices as processes but not events. It explains why people’s expectations may vary, including their needs at a young age and during their career development. There are four processes that matter: cognitive growth, self-creation, circumscription, and compromise (Swanson & Fouad, 2015). When people cannot achieve the desired goals and work under the conditions that are suitable to them, the time to search for compromise comes when preferred alternatives are replaced by less compatible but accessible options.

Theory 3

The theory of work adjustment introduces another look at the relationships between an individual and the environment. According to this theory, two major components can fill each other (Swanson & Fouad, 2015). In other words, the world exists in the way a person has enough capabilities to fill the environmental requirements, and the environment reacts to human behaviors and decisions. Until the balance between the needs of people and the environment is kept and compromises are chosen, the world can develop and exist.


In general, the chosen theories show how the interactions between persuasion and compromise may help people improve their actions and make successful decisions. A leader has to persuade and motive the staff. However, at the same time, the situations when compromise is required cannot be ignored. The goal is not always to control and order but to assess and evaluate to find out the best alternative and meet the needs of all the team members.

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Testing and Application/Active Experimentation

The first theory was frequently applied to my leadership practice and the necessity to persuade people. I tried to take into consideration the opinions of people when they announced their concerns and propositions. At the same time, I also considered the environment in which we had to work and never placed my personal demands over the company’s needs. It was my personal type of compromise where heuristic and systematic processing mattered. The second theory of circumscription and compromise by Gottfredson served as a good plan for me to investigate the potential needs and expectations of my people. It was impossible to predict all challenges and complications in the working process, and this model showed the areas on which a leader had to focus. The theory of work adjustment was probably my favorite approach to cooperate with people and persuade them. I always tried to support work-life balance and check the progress of the relationships between my staff and the environment we created.


Swanson, J. L., & Fouad, N. A. (2015). Career theory and practice: Learning through case studies (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Teng, S., Khong, K. W., & Goh, W. W. (2015). Persuasive communication: A study of major attitude-behavior theories in social media context. Journal of Internet Commerce, 14(1), 42-64.

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