February 20, 2022
Welcome to Disagree Better, a twice-monthly email designed to help you collaborate and negotiate in ways that keep vital relationships resilient and important decisions sound in business and life.
The way we deliver information about behavior we disagree with or dislike can make the difference between rejection and consideration, defensiveness and willingness to listen. American journalist Krista Tippett hinted at the difference when she said, “I can disagree with your opinion, it turns out, but I can’t disagree with your experience.” To stay on the effective side of the criticism continuum remember this phrase: “Make it behavioral.”
The flip side of delivering criticism constructively is, of course, receiving it with a bit of grace. When you’re on the receiving end of inelegantly-delivered criticism — or facilitating a conversation where others are offering criticism inelegantly, there’s an excellent question that will help them make their message more fruitful. Find it here in Scenario 3:
Beloved peace activist and Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh, known as Thay (“teacher”) by his community and students throughout the world, passed away last month. I used to close the final class of each term with my conflict resolution grad students with a Tolstoy story retold by Thích Nhất Hạnh. It seemed the right moment to share it with you:
Take care of each other,