Keeping a Disagreement Under Control

Dale Carnegie shared nine key points on how to keep a disagreement from escalating into an argument:

  1. Welcome the disagreement. Thank them for bringing the issue up so you both have a chance to resolve it instead of dancing around “the elephant in the room.”
  2. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Don’t make quantum leaps in your mind in terms of motives or where the person is going. Respectfully listen and give them the benefit of the doubt.
  3. Control your temper. Stay cool, calm, and collected. Emotions running wild on both sides will simply erase all attempts to a resolution.
  4. Listen first. Stephen Covey said: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”
  5. Look for areas of agreement. Always start with what you agree on. Getting started on positive footing can set the tone for how you discuss areas of disagreement.
  6. Be honest. State clearly what you can and cannot do. Accept responsibility where you are at fault.
  7. Promise to think over the opponents’ ideas and study them carefully. Thank them up front for their ideas and then communicate later with them via email or a phone call—your considerations and conclusions on their proposal.
  8. Thank your opponents sincerely for their interest. The fact that they took the time and energy to contact you should not go unnoticed.
  9. Postpone action to give both sides time to think through the problem. Telling your opponent that you need time to consider their proposal and work on a win-win solution often results in something better than a quick fix.

The above is excerpt from Luke Kuepfer’s blog.

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