The way we disagree affects the resilience of our vital relationships, how influential we are, and the quality of our decisions. Disagree Better is a twice-monthly email with timeless conflict resolution wisdom for transformative conversations at work and home:
Here’s how we do it
Safeguard the space between
There’s a space that changes form as we navigate our personal and business relationships. It’s the figurative space between us, narrowing and softening when things are going well, widening and hardening in times of tension. When we know how to buffer our vital relationships from the negative effects of conflict, we disagree better and take care of the space between.
Fine-tune communication habits
Word choice, good questions, and good listening skills and habits contribute to effective communication. The right words alone often do not have the power to resolve a conflict, though. To disagree better we need to align our words and our listening with the kinds of intentions and attitudes that pave the way for progress.
The best conflict resolution and communication skills in the world are little use if we can’t access them when we need them most. To disagree better we need the ability to think clearly, respond nimbly, and regain our equilibrium in the face of difficult and stressful interactions.
Recognize mental models
Mental models are the cognitive frameworks we use to make sense of our experiences. This “invisible architecture” influences what we pay attention to, how we perceive and understand what happened, and how we decide. To disagree better we need to recognize the cognitive biases and blind spots that lead us to ineffectual behavior and decisions, and consider additional ways to interpret our experiences.
Use good problem-solving process
Good problem-solving process is like a reliable roadmap — it orients us to where we are, helps us identify an effective route to our desired destination, and helps us find an alternate route when we get stuck. We disagree better when we navigate the conversation coherently and have good options for extricating ourselves from potholes.
Transform friction into healthy dynamics
Disagree Better is a twice-a-month email from veteran mediator, conflict resolution teacher, and coach Dr. Tammy Lenski. Join thousands worldwide who receive Tammy’s road-tested conflict resolution tools and insights in text + audio format:
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