Most of us don’t like disagreement. We’ve been taught by our parents to keep the peace, go along to get along and to not cause waves. So, the very act of disagreeing often puts us out of our comfort zone. Without disagreeing, however, we don’t really make a lot of progress in terms of creativity or coming up with new ideas. The important thing is that our disagreements are productive.
Disagreeing often falls short
Have you noticed that often a disagreement goes nowhere? The other person doesn’t listen to you, nor takes to heart what you have to say. What a surprise? Maybe it’s because you haven’t earned yourself a hearing with this person. To see the video clip, click on the video above.
When I told Christine that she was wrong because she was a Republican, did you notice her response. She basically told me to stick it – and with good reason. I did not take the time to give her what she needed, which was to be heard. So I didn’t earn myself a hearing.
The second time, however, when I actually listened to her, she was willing to at least hear me out.
So, if you want people to listen to you in the midst of an argument, be sure to earn yourself a hearing by listening to them first. Then let them know you heard them. By the way, this principle not only applies when you are disagreeing with people, it’s not a bad rule by which to have your team abide. So you may want to talk about the importance of earning yourself a hearing with your team – and be sure to demonstrate it yourself. That way, you’re leading by example and that’s a good thing.