Real-life advice from a real-life recruiter

Have you ever disagreed with someone and were unsure of how to verbalize your thoughts without creating a full-on heated debate? Check these tips and suggestions on how to disagree agreeably.

Rules for Disagreeing:

  • Use good voice tone
  •  Pick your battles. “You do not have to address every injustice or irritation that comes along,” says Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Anger.
  • Understand the stakes. Even if you think that you know the other person’s issues, it can’t hurt to pose a direct question. Ask “what’s your real concern here?’ ” says Rebecca Zucker, cofounder of Next Step Partners, an executive-coaching and leadership-development firm in San Francisco.
  • Don’t interrogate. Try not to go on a lawyerlike attack with a listing of yes-or-no questions. This tack is aggressive, puts the other person on the defensive and can make them feel belittled.
  • Use good body language 
  • Listen to the other person’s opinion.

Phrases to use when disagreeing…

  • Have you thought about it this way?
  • Well, I was looking at it differently.
  • Why don’t you look at that again?
  • How about looking at it from another angle?
  • That doesn’t quite sound right to me.
  • I don’t agree with that idea.
  • I disagree.

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