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Males: Interventions for Balancing a Work Addicted Workaholic Lifestyle
10 CEUs Males: Interventions for Balancing a Work Addicted Workaholic Lifestyle

Section 5
Track #5 - How to Manage Ambition through Compromise

Question 5 | Answer Booklet | Table of Contents | Addictions CEU Courses
Social Worker CEU, Psychologist CE, Counselor CEU, & MFT CEU

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On the last track we discussed managing ambition.  This track covered why clients must manage ambition, compromise vs. sacrifice, and four categories of compromise.  The four categories of compromise are time, relationships, where clients live and work, and the client’s core values and principles.

On this track... we will continue to discuss managing ambition.  An effective method for managing ambition is creative compromise.  Let’s examine two types of creative compromise.  The two types of creative compromise we will examine are compromise for relationships and compromise for core values.  As you listen to this track, you might evaluate the content for playing in your next session with a workaholic client.

Share on Facebook 2 Types of Creative Compromise
Does your client believe that wanting a successful, high-powered career and a satisfying home life means that he is asking for too much?  I find that it does if the client longs for limitless career possibilities and a picture-perfect home life.  Unquestionably, clients have to make trade-offs.  But in addition to the willingness to make trade-offs there are some other prerequisites which can be fulfilled to foster both career success and balance.

1. The first requirement for creative compromise is a natural liking and passion for his chosen field of endeavor.  Ray loved his job, but struggled to keep up with his work and to do as well as his peers.  Ray stated, "I love my job and my family, but it’s nearly impossible to further my career and still have energy left for my home life."

2. The second requirement is to know how to invent solutions to seemingly irresolvable problems.  Would you agree that, for workaholic clients, finding room for a career and a home life is like confronting a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle without the benefit of the picture on the box?  With few role models and precedents, clients like Ray and Drew have to combine the career pieces and the home pieces of their lives and come up with an appealing, interlocking, and sustainable whole.

Share on Facebook #1  Compromise for Relationships
 Drew felt that he needed to become an expert at creative problem solving, coming to win-win solutions, and compromise.  Drew stated, "I’m going to make my weekends sacred.  I may—and do—travel all over the country during the week, but I am going to start being home on Friday night and stay through Sunday night.  I’m hoping that will give me time with my kids and wife and make me a part of the family again!" 

In a later session, Drew identified what he had traded for this creative compromise.  Drew stated, "What do I trade off by devoting Saturday and Sunday to my family?  In my business, a lot of work gets done on the golf course on weekends so I lose out on that.  Another trade­off is that I have no friends.  I work like a dog all week and weekends are for my family, so that doesn’t leave any time to develop friendships.  It’s too bad, but you just can’t have everything."

Here is another example of the creative compromise Ray made to have career success and a balanced life.  Ray stated, "I have a four-day business trip planned to San Francisco.  At the same time, my son is going to play in the statewide Little League tournament!  Of course, the game will be when I’m in San Francisco.  I  missed another championship game of his a few years ago while traveling on business.  At that time, I told myself that I would never let that happen again.  So I plan to fly to San Francisco as scheduled, but the next evening, I’ll fly out again at 5.  The following morning, I’ll just take a plane out very early to rejoin my meetings."

This is a good example of making a conscious and creative trade-off.  To be able to go on the business trip and see the baseball game, Ray had to relinquish the price of the plane tickets and the opportunity to build relationships with business colleagues for an evening.  Ray also added the stress of two more plane flights.  

However, Ray gained the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with his son and to be true to his values.  Of course, Ray was concerned whether his long-term career success was harmed by his absence that evening.  Nor does he know if his relationship with his son would have been impaired if he had missed the game.  Ray did know, however, that he was very proud of the choice he made.

Share on Facebook #2  Compromise for Core Values
At other times, the conflicts don’t involve family life but staying true to your core values.  Jim was a 32 year old computer programmer.  Jim had to make a compromise at his job in order to maintain his core values.  Jim stated, "One of my clients was working on temperature-measurement technology and one of its applications was for the military.  I’d been a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, so producing something that would help the military kill people went directly against my values!  I agreed to work on software for the technology—but asked not to work on any direct military customizations.  My request was respected."

I had previously stated to Jim, "The next time you are asked to trade off something that matters to you for the sake of your career, realize that you have three choices.  You can choose the path that favors your job, the path that favors your home life, or you can blaze a new trail.  Sometimes this third option isn’t as hard as it may seem.  Have faith that a creative compromise is out there somewhere; if you keep looking, you’ll find it."

Do you have a method for workaholic clients to make compromises for career success?  I find that clients can conscientiously gather the best information available and still make mistakes.  But if your client is making compromises about relationships, you might suggest they don’t try to fool themselves or others.  Do you agree that honest communication can help encourage productive compromise?  Would it benefit your client to listen to this track to hear a few examples of creative compromise?

On this track... we discussed managing ambition.  An effective method for managing ambition is creative compromise.  We examined two types of creative compromise.  The two types of creative compromise we examined were compromise for relationships and compromise for core values. 

On the next track we will discuss picking up housework.  As tools for equalizing housework, we will discuss strategies for avoiding housework and strategies for picking up housework.

QUESTION 5
What are two types of creative compromise? To select and enter your answer go to Answer Booklet.

 

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