What is the cost of turning nearly all our face-to-face meetings into emails?
Whenever disagreement arises, perhaps in a meeting or coffee-room discussion, many are inclined to head for the exit. When someone disagrees with us, it can be hard to stay open to what they are saying. People often feel unable to find common ground in conversations today.
Why is this? In her TED talk from 2018, Julia Dhar says, “One of the reasons it is so hard to disagree productively is because we become attached to our ideas. We start to believe that we own them and that by extension, they own us.” We start to cherish them as part of our identity. Another reason is that we fear disagreement will lead to personal attacks or some other relationship difficulty. And most fundamentally, we might feel that our point of view is fixed, ignoring the fact that how we feel can change radically from moment to moment. So how can we move beyond misunderstanding toward conversation that allows for a productive exchange of ideas? How can we find common the ground required to improve an idea or a plan?
Here are four things you can do:
When disagreements occur, it’s possible to move beyond the personal and advance the conversation when we apply the right kind of engagement. With practice and remaining open, we can create solutions to even the most seemingly insurmountable problems.
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