How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: 7 Tips for Having More Productive Discussions


George S. Patton once said: “If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

In business, stirring the proverbial pot can be a good thing. And while negotiating these matters can be challenging — especially when they involve our teammates or bosses — differences in opinion will often lead to progress.

The most important thing to remember is that there is a big difference between healthy, productive disagreements and heated arguments. In order for two parties to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, there has to be a level of professionalism and respect.

While navigating this territory can feel like a slippery slope, we’ve defined a few tips-off below to help you speak your intellect, without letting the situation spiraling out of control.

How to Disagree( Without Being Disagreeable)

1) Be mindful of your tone.

Research has found that the audio of a person’s voice has a lot to do with how he or she is perceived. In fact, the voice of a speaker’s voice matters twice as much as their message, according to a study of 120 executives’ speeches.

So if you’re raising your voice during a discrepancy, will it negatively impact the delivery of your message? Or will it help you command attention?

MIT research fellow, Michael Schrage, suggests that your tone is often dependent on the situation, as well as the person you’re disagreeing with.

“If youare cry because humiliating and humiliating people is part of who you are, youave got bigger professional issues than your decibel level, ” he explains. “But if creating your voice because you care is part of who you are as a person and communicator, individual employees should have the courtesy and professionalism to respect that.”

The lesson? Be in control of your own voice. If you feel yourself becoming agitated, take a moment to pause and think about the situation before choosing to raise your voice.

2) Don’t use “you” statements.

Falling back on “you” statements when you’re disagreeing with someone can easily be perceived as combative. Just look at the statements below to see what I mean.

“You always ask me to complete a last-minute assigning when you know that I already have my hands full” voices more argumentative than, “I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the amount of work on my plate. Is there anyone else that can take that on? “

Notice the difference?

Let’s look at a few more 😛 TAGEND “You never fact-check your reports before sending them in, ” vs. “I noticed a few errors in your last report. Would it help if I depicted you my approach for fact-checking? ” “You always forget to attach documents when you send an email, ” vs. “I had trouble situating the document you referenced in the email, mind sending it again? ” “You should pay more attention to what’s being said in the meetings, ” vs. “I find it helpful to take notes during meetings to make sure I don’t miss anything.”

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