How to disagree in a meeting? Check out how disagreeing can be very good for you and your career, and how you can take advantage of it.
If you ever wonder about this topic and if you should disagree with your teammates, this article is for you! Whether you’re discussing a new product feature with your team or talking politics at the table during your family holiday dinner, tempers can flare, and harsh words can leave us frustrated and angry. We all know that conflict can be uncomfortable, but sometimes at work, debating ideas can be productive and sometimes necessary. We are sure all of you already experience some debates and brainstorm with your peers that lead to great views and fantastic solutions, right?
Arguing could be an incredible thing. Sometimes, it can be the key to your success, but only if you do it healthily. It’s crucial to have in mind that disagreeing it’s not about fighting each other’s but trying to find a productive and better solution of all ideas. Here are some rules for keeping debates professional and on topic. Check out our 5 tips on how to learn to better disagree below:
Remember, we’re all on the same team
You need to make sure about all debates fall into one of three categories: where the goal is to persuade people you’re right, to look better than your opponent or to find better solutions together. The last option is the one that helps us get the most out of a group’s cognitive diversity. To steer people in that direction, set the stage by kicking off the discussion with a shared goal, a spirit of inquiry, and emphasis that everyone is on the same team.
Keep it about facts, logic, and the topic at hand
One of the most difficult, yet crucial, elements of a productive debate is keeping it on the same track. Arguments tend to fracture, especially when people feel like their ideas or identities are coming under attack. Unfortunately, when people feel strongly about their opinions, they tend to, often subconsciously, resort to logical fallacies, avoiding questions, and outright deception. Sometimes they bring in outside issues to bolster their points and distract people to counterargument. All participants need to be vigilant, so none of these bad behaviors sneak into debates.
Have in mind the possibility of being wrong
People who find themselves on opposing sides of an issue can engage in productive disagreement by taking the time to explain to each other point of view. To do this well is all about having the right attitude, more than that, it is about having the debating skill. Once we’re able to start thinking and talking about what it would take to change our minds, we naturally begin to wonder why we were so stuck on our original viewpoints in the first place.
Please don’t make it personal
Sometimes when debates get personal people feel like their ideas or identities are coming under attack. Emotion and ego begin to play a much more significant role. Everyone becomes less likely to appreciate others’ points of view, which significantly reduces the potential for innovation or problem-solving. To ensure that debates don’t get sidetracked in this way, you need to depersonalize our arguments explicitly.
Be intellectually humble
For a debate to truly be productive, participants need to be willing to respect every viewpoint and change their minds when necessary. Even if you think you have more knowledge, skills, or even experience than your peers, it’s vital to have intellectual humility. It’s actually one of the most essential skills for a good leader and a productive debater to develop.
We know that the having a team debate can be quite intimidating, but with these 5 tips, we know you will be successful and definitely will be able to explain your point of view and showcase your knowledge.
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