General

Constructive Disagreements In The Workplace

Disagreements and arguments take place every single day, in all types of places and locations the world over. From personal disagreements with friends and family, to an argument with a loved one, a stranger on the street, or a disagreement with a colleague over a work topic, learning how to disagree constructively can help you to improve your character, especially when it comes to learning how to cope with negative emotions and turn them into something positive in a working environment.

In your place of work there will be times where you have to overcome objections, disagreements and sometimes full-blown arguments against your point of view. The best leaders and those who have reached the pinnacle of their chosen profession, will have had to learn how to deal with these situations and how to turn them into a positive situation, even if it means losing marginal ground over a subject in the short-term.

One of the major problems that most people face in the workplace is that they are too afraid to put forward their views, in case it means being argued against or shot down. Even if you are sat in a meeting with a completely opposing view to that of the current speaker, never be afraid to voice your concerns or to put forward an alternative. As long as you have put the work in and have facts and figures to back up your thoughts, you’ll be fine. And in any situation, the more information available, the better it is for all concerned in terms of making an informed decision to move forward with, even if the direction isn’t the one you hoped for.

If you are speaking with someone in the workplace that is in disagreement with you, always allow some time so that you can be calm and calculated with your response. Repeat what they have said to you so that they understand that you have been giving them your full attention, helping to build trust between the two of you. By validating the person opposing you in a disagreement you can help to move the conversation to a more constructive place. The only way to reach agreement is if both sides can understand why the other person has come to that opinion. From there you can begin to work out an approach to work together.

Confidence is always key in a workplace scenario, especially where disagreements are concerned. Have confidence in your ability to perform your job tasks to a high standard, that you know what you are talking about, and that you have the facts and figures to back up your arguments should a disagreement take place. Confidence also works in acknowledging another persons viewpoint, in that you should always be confident enough to admit you were wrong (when it happens) and to validate an opposing view if you see its merits. Rejections and rebuttals are par for the course in workplace discussions and disagreements so be prepared to work with opposing views and to always speak your mind.

Content written by Kimberley Galloway