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Why Disagreement Is Important

What are some of the characteristics and techniques that contribute to the art of disagreement? As a leader, you need to be interested in what they all have to say. Look at problems from different angles to find the solution that makes the most sense. Thoughtful disagreements are about being willing to accept tensions and explore possible outcomes with a sense of curiosity. Ideologically polarized teams were more competitive – they had more arguments than more homogeneous or „moderate“ teams. But their arguments improved the quality of the resulting page. Editors working on one side told the researchers, „We have to admit that the repeated position at the end of the argument was much stronger and more balanced.“ This „must“ is important: the reluctant way in which each party reached an agreement made the response they reached stronger than it would otherwise have been. As Evans` team put it, „If they had updated their opinion too easily, then they wouldn`t have been motivated to find counterfactual and counter-data arguments that fuel this conversation.“ Before the stakeholders are brought together, the person addressing the decision disagreement should list 2-3 initial solution options to be discussed as a team. This is a significant time saver: by doing this before the group gets together, the person making the disagreement productively processes their thoughts and prepares different options as well as the efforts, pros and cons of each option. Optionally, the different solution options can be sent to stakeholders before the meeting. We can`t always change the opinion of others and we shouldn`t feel compelled to do so. Being open to disagreements can teach us to be better listeners and to be more accepting of differences.

This does not mean that you give in, but allows us to let go of certain things, which is an important relational skill. Improved relationships. By working together through conflict, you will feel closer to the people around you and better understand what is important to them and how they prefer to work. They will also set an important precedent: that it is possible to have „good“ fights and move on. My 10-year-old daughter knows this intuitively. Once, she came back from one night with her close friend, and when I asked her how it went, she said, „Great. We fought all the time. I urged them to say that it could have been fun if they were arguing. She said, „Because we`ve recovered and we`re now BFF.“ Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of the relationship with others. There is no work environment without conflict. And you shouldn`t want to work in one.

Disagreements – when managed well – have many positive outcomes, such as better work products, opportunities to learn and grow, better relationships, and a more inclusive work environment. To reap these benefits, you must overcome any fear you have of conflict. Start by letting go, wanting to be loved. Instead of trying to increase your sympathy, focus on respect, give it away, and deserve it. Don`t think disagreements are hostile. Most people are willing to hear a different point of view if you respectfully share it. You can also try to imitate someone who is comfortable with conflict. If you`re not yet good at dealing with tense conversations, try the personality of someone who is. Whatever tactic you want to try, practice it in small doses. Participate directly in a low-stakes conversation and see, for example, what`s going on. There is a good chance that this will go better than expected. Disagreements are valued when leaders demonstrate an attitude of inclusion.

Openness and active defense of different ideas, perspectives, feelings, and beliefs create a greater breadth of thinking than a closed, conservative approach to decision-making that tends to exclude diversity. The attitude of inclusion stimulates the expression of disagreements and the joint discovery of solutions. This approach increases the likelihood that optimal decisions will be made. You can view our model dispute resolution framework here. I also sat at tables when different people are fighting in their corner, sometimes beyond the point that seems reasonable. This kind of debate can be extremely productive; Of course, this can also tip into an ego battle that generates more heat than light. Over the centuries, we have developed processes and institutions to stabilize the volatility of disagreements while unleashing their benefits, with modern science being the most important example. It is also possible to create these favorable conditions yourself, as Wikipedians and Wrights show us. In any company, each person brings a different context and set of beliefs to the work they do. If you use these differences correctly, you can find new approaches to solving the problems that make the business stronger and more dynamic.

You can`t escape disagreements, but you can make them productive by getting honest feedback, relying on data, and keeping conversations on track and professional. Choose not to view disagreements as obstacles. Instead, think of them as a stepping stone to new ideas and innovative solutions. A more inclusive work environment. If you want diversity and inclusion in your organization, you need to be prepared to disagree. Anesa Parker, Carmen Medina, and Elizabeth Schill wrote in their Rotman management article „Diversity`s New Frontier: Diversity of Thought,“ „While homogeneous groups are more confident in their performance, different groups are often more successful at accomplishing tasks.“ They went on to explain that managers and employees must overcome an „instinctive urge to avoid conflict“ and „abandon the idea that consensus is an end in itself. In a well-managed and diverse team, content disagreements don`t need to become personal: either ideas have merits and connecting positions, or they don`t. Respect for disagreement encourages risk-taking, creative thinking, and consideration of alternatives that would not otherwise come to the table. Leaders who challenge their employees to think, criticize and think outside the box maximize the potential that exists within the group. Appreciation of the effort and not just the chosen decision will further encourage people to take the risk of offering ideas and positions that might not otherwise be considered.

If you are the target of a disagreement from a team member: First, acknowledge the disagreement and paraphrase the opinion of the person who disagrees to make sure they know they have been heard. Second, ask the person to answer the above question. While people have accumulated a huge stock of collective knowledge, each of us alone knows surprisingly little and often less than we imagine (for example, we tend to overestimate our understanding of even everyday objects like zippers, toilets, and bicycles). But each of us is involved in a vast intelligence network that includes both the dead and the living; The more open and smooth your local network is, the smarter you can be. In addition, open disagreement is one of the most important ways we can plunder the expertise of others while donating our own to the common pool. Positive approval of rejection occurs when individuals realize that additional conflict would be unnecessary, ineffective, or otherwise undesirable. While unresolved disagreements can lead to intense conflicts between people, accepting disagreement allows us to feel closer and can also lead to a better understanding of each other, as it forces us to hear the other point of view. From this point of view, accepting the rejection can be considered positive. It offers the opportunity to promote our own growth and develop a variety of perspectives.

Access to a greater diversity of views inevitably leads to more options and more flexibility for the current topic and for the issues that will arise in the future. It also allows us to let go of anger, especially about things that can`t be controlled or changed, rather than silently annoying the other person. As you work to resolve disagreements, determine whether the differences are focused on the central goal or the process of achieving the desired outcome. There will often be more susceptibility to variations in processes and procedures than to radical changes in purpose. Do the proposals meet the objectives and requirements identified? If this is the case, there may be disagreements in the area of the process; how to achieve the goal and not the goal itself. Recognizing and communicating this distinction can move the process forward in a constructive way. A good technique for depicting disagreements is to both support and confront. This involves using the word „and“ instead of the word „but“.

An example would be to say, „I understand what you are proposing and I have a different point of view“ rather than „I understand what you are proposing, but I want you to listen to my idea.“ The use of the word „but“ removes everything that has been presented previously and contains only the following words. The use of the word „and“ shows respect and consideration for one point of view while adding other thoughts or opinions. A difference presented with respect and as an alternative is better received than a difference that shows contempt and one-sided thinking. Let go of the need to be loved. Most people want people to love them. This is normal. Joel Garfinkle, executive coach and author of Difficult Conversations, recently wrote, „While it`s natural to want to be loved, it`s not always the most important thing.“ He goes on to say that instead of trying to increase your sympathy, focus on respect – both giving and winning. .