How to disagree without being disagreeable: 17 tips for having more productive discussions

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How to disagree without being disagreeable: 17 tips for having more productive discussions    

The key to having a productive discussion is being able to take in views from all stakeholders. This is a factor that can only be possible if and when people float ideas, agree and disagree including discussing the best alternatives possible. In order for a discussion to be productive, being able to disagree without being disagreeable is what is needed to ensure every input is valued and brought on board.

Articulate ideas and point of view

Articulating the ideas that a person has clearly defines you as a person who is giving the matter a clear consideration. It shows that you understand what the line of thought is all about and the point being put across.

Assume positive intent

Any discussion should be approached with positive intent in mind and with the assumption that the other individuals party to the discussion also have the best intent. This is what gives you the chance to disagree without appearing disagreeable.

Ensure you research

Having the facts right is a perfect way to counter people and disagree without seeming combative or being driven by emotion. Providing the facts is a clear way to disagree but with a clear perspective.

Remove hedging phrases from your vocabulary

Phrases like “I don’t think this is right” or “I am not sure this will be good” are recipes for disagreements. The phrases brew frustration and drive a wedge between parties to a discussion.

Desist from being personal

Being personal is a defensive mechanism that many people go back to when faced with a situation where they feel their credibility or consideration is being put into question. The key is to decamp from using a personal approach as an intimidation tactic to further your argument.

Avoid “You” phrases and statements

Incorporating statements that are oriented to be directed at a person in the form of “You” are deemed combative. It appears like the passing of judgement and leads to a person becoming defensive.

Focus on the shared vision

Give the person a chance to understand the shared vision and focus on ensuring they understand that your view and objectives are all for the greater good.

Consider your tone

The tone of the voice is a significant pointer towards what people consider to be the aspect of disagreement. The message comes second to tone and it directs how a person is perceived which means a conversational tone is better received by individuals.

Identify the non-negotiables

When disagreeing, it is important to know which aspects you can definitely strike a compromise on and the elements that you have to stick to. This is what will give you the chance to communicate your ideas and elements clearly.

Keep filler words and hesitant statements out

Filler words and the phrases that are tuned as hesitant define a person as having doubt and they are what take away the credibility that a person may have. The disruptions are more of a distraction and erode the confidence someone may have in a people they are holding a discussion with.

Propose constructive alternatives

Listing the usefulness of the alternatives is a great way of disagreeing without being disagreeable. Constructive alternatives speak to the chances that can be adopted to good effect.

Stick to facts

Suggestions that are personal always appear to be ways of undermining what another person has said and the best way to avoid this is to stick to the facts. Facts speak to what an argument should be based on which promotes agreement.

Consider your body language

The non-verbal communication you make when disagreeing with someone is what defines how the person is able to perceive the message. Considering the gestures and facial expressions is a great way to disagree without appearing to be disagreeable.

Ask clarifying questions

Asking clarifying questions lets the other person provide more information and clearly evaluate elements of their proposal. This is what leads to them getting to view the flaws in their own ideas without you pointing them out.

Identify moments to take a break

The key to disagreeing is to ensure that the other person is able to view matters from your point of view and this is only possible when they have the time to reflect. This cements the need for a break that will prompt fresh deliberations.

Be a listener

Being a listener is a major advantage when it comes to disagreeing without being disagreeable since listening provides you with sufficient information that will enable the processing of issues. This gives you the chance to relay facts in a clear manner.

Position your proposal as an option

The best way to disagree without being disagreeable is to position your proposal as an option rather than the actual choice that should be taken up.