Disagree Without Defensiveness

Here is a simple skill that can accelerate your career: Learning to disagree without being disagreeable or putting others on the defensive.

When you tell someone, ‘I disagree with you,’ more often than not, it makes them defensive. If people take it as a personal criticism, they often dig in and it soon becomes an ego-fueled debate rather than an objective discussion.

So instead of saying ‘I disagree with you,’ or ‘You are wrong’, try saying one of the following:

– Allow me to share another way of looking at things
– Here is another explanation for the same facts.
– There is an alternative viewpoint I would like to share – may I?
– These facts could also lead to another conclusion – I would like to share that.

Try the above or any variations, and see what works for you. The goal is to focus on ideas rather than on the people presenting the ideas.

During office discussions, you don’t have to be a silent spectator – when you have something to say, do speak up. That is how you add value to the discussion and be taken seriously.

– Rajan

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