Work through a Disagreement before it becomes an Argument

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

It is always good to head off an argument before it gets going. So, manage disagreements before they become arguments. There are a number of ways to do this:

Welcome the disagreement

Always be thankful that somebody else has a different opinion than yours. Maybe the disagreement is a way for you to correct yourself before a bigger mistake happens.

Distrust your first reaction

All thought has an emotion attached to it and these thoughts must always pass through the emotional brain before arriving in the logical brain. Often times a disagreeable situation brings about a defensive reaction. Remain calm and allow the logical brain time to catch up. Control your temper. The emotional brain can take control and you may become angry. Counting to 10 first can buy you some calming time.

Listen to the other person

Listen to your opponent until they are finished. Then ask questions to make sure you have totally understood the concern.

Areas of agreement

Look for areas that you can both agree on. Find common ground to work with.

Be honest with yourself

Apologies for a mistake you may have made and admit to any errors in judgement you have had.

Think through your opponent’s point of view

Your opponent maybe right, dead right, so allow time to view all the facts, weighing up the new information that has been giving to you. Postpone action until both parties have had sufficient time to logically think through all the options.

Thank your opponent sincerely

Think of a person that disagrees with you as a friend. Someone who takes the time to disagree with you is interested in what you are interested in.

Schedule another meeting

Postpone action for now. Reconvene in the near future after both parties have had sufficient time to think.

Remember that forcing someone to comply or follow orders or legislation against their will may give you a short-term victory, but you do not have their goodwill. They may resent it, and they may return back to doing want you wanted to correct anyway. It is always better and longer lasting to find out the reasons behind the actions or behaviours and work towards agreement and cooperation.

“A person convinced against their will, is of the same opinion”

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