Mediation and Business Consulting by Kathleen Kauth.
If we listen to the main stream media, it can often seem as if there is no hope for people of different beliefs, races, religions, politics, gender etc. to be in the same room together much less get along. This is a mistaken belief. It is entirely possible for people who have completely different takes on any number of subjects to not only get along, but consider each other friends.
At the very least, practicing effective disagreement techniques will build the structure of a relationship that will support a positive environment whether at work, in the neighborhood or with family.
All or nothing is a trap
The first thing to remember about effective disagreement is that it is perfectly okay and very normal to disagree with people on issues.
Remember — we are not widgets. We can not be mass produced or mass managed. Each individual is made up of millions of unique experiences that have shaped their views. It would be mathematically impossible to have the exact same viewpoint as another person. You might have similarities in viewpoints, but you aren’t exactly the same.
Understanding that everyone is starting from a different perspective makes it easier to understand that differences are okay. It also helps remove the “all or nothing” trap. This is when an individual dismisses a relationship based on the fact that they don’t agree with them on every issue.
Quite frankly, can you imagine how boring it would be if everyone thought, felt and acted the same?
So where do you draw the line?
Where you draw the line depends on a myriad of factors:
(Serial killer exclusion — there are some issues that are deal breakers no matter what. Each person has to define those for themselves. Mine is serial killers!)
How to effectively disagree
Rational people can agree to disagree and continue to have a relationship. You do not have to agree with everyone about everything. You can choose to value relationships even when they are not in perfect alignment with you. You may be pleasantly surprised at the value these relationships bring to your life!
From the Mediation Matters Blog of Steve Mehta. In honor of Valentine’s day, I thought we might look at conflict resolution between people in love. New research has found that...By Steve Mehta