In every walk of life we will have disagreements with others, from partners, friends, family, strangers and in the workplace. Learning how to disagree in a positive fashion could be the key to unlocking a smoother path to career enlightenment. If you can put forward an opposing view to a colleague or manager, without it becoming an argument, you’ll be in a better position to work well as a team and move forward with a full range of views in your back pocket. It can make a difference to the success of a team and a company if everyone feels safe to air their views, even if it they are opposing.
How can you learn to disagree in a positive fashion?
Be Prepared to Share – You should never be too scared to put forward your view in the workplace. Even if it seems like the complete opposite viewpoint to what everybody else has said so far, your knowledge and opinions are just as vital as everyone else’s. if you make yourself a part of the overall conversation people will listen to you and your opinions will become part of the discussion, helping to move the topic on to resolution. The more information that a team has to work with, the better prepared they are and more options become available. That only comes from open and honest views from all team members.
Be Deliberate with Your Responses – If someone disagrees with your point of view you will always have a chance to respond. When doing so try mirroring them at first, repeating what they have said to confirm exactly what they meant. This shows that you are listening to others and that you understand where they are coming from. This automatically builds trust and respect and engenders real communication.
Acknowledge an Opposing View – In much a similar way as the point above, validating the person who has just expressed an opposing view to your own can help move the conversation forward to where it needs to be. Once you have repeated what they have said, you should always explain that you understand their viewpoint and are willing to discuss it. This has a two-pronged value to the discussion, allowing you to really think about the other side of the argument, and making the other person more willing to listen to your arguments in the process.
Be Confident and Prepared for Objections – In any discussion in the workplace you have to have confidence in your own abilities and knowledge of the subject matter. This ties in with being prepared for rejection. Before big meetings visualise reasons why your opinion might be rejected or questioned and be prepared to fail. It’s about having the confidence to put forward your views for the good of the team, without being scared to fail in the process. There isn’t a single person who won’t have their views questions or dismissed in the workplace, that’s just the way of life.