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Agree to Disagree Without being Disagreeable

It is the difference of opinion that creates posture for innovation which is the key to progress. It is the differences of opinion that runs the engine of change that is transformative. In the landscape of any business which is in the process of change, differences of opinion turning into conflict is at times  inevitable and such conflicts must be resolved for the business to make progress. Agreeing to disagree without being disagreeable is the key to the solution.

Additionally, interpersonal skills are necessary in resolving conflicts if attitudes become hardened. The key to conflict resolution is how you approach it. Knowing the types of individuals that engender conflict is the first step in conflict resolution:

  • Warriors who try to intimidate everybody and look you in the face
  • Snipers take pot shots at everybody but avoid confrontation
  • Complainers find fault with everybody but themselves
  •  Negativists throw wet blankets when you are trying to light the fire of innovation
  •  Exploders throw tantrums that escalate quickly
  • Avoiders withdraw from conflict situations

Further, attitude adjustment becomes essential for you to deal with such situations. First, you must respect and value their opinions. You must be open to the possibility that you may be wrong and admit to yourself that the other person may be right and has a better idea and realize that no one knows it all. 

The next step is using the skills that you will need for conflict resolution and they include:

  •  Describe the conflict situation in non judgmental fashion
  •  Highlight the impact of other persons involved and eventually on the customers
  •  Describe the outcome of resolved conflict in observable and measurable ways
  • Explain the consequence that could come from solution

Ultimately, the difference in being right and agreeable and being right and disagreeable involves your attitude towards the other persons, but also their values and your perception of those values. You can accomplish this first by listening to the person(s), saying what you need to say, using firm but friendly voice as you respond to them and lighten up.