Disagreements are a natural, healthy part of business life, and can help to forge stronger relationships and solutions. But if not handled correctly, they can be divisive and damaging. HubSpot’s Carly Stec provides the following suggestions to make sure your disagreements are constructive rather than destructive.
Be mindful of your tone: Some studies suggest that tone is even more important than the content of what you say. Raising your voice is not necessarily a bad thing, but be sure your intention is appropriate to the situation, rather than simply intended to humiliate or demean someone.
Don’t use “you” statements: Sometimes, people need to be held accountable for their actions, but leaving the word “you” out can help to ensure that things don’t escalate into a difficult argument.
Avoid filler words and hesitant phrases: Words such as “um” and “uh” suggest doubt, and can hinder your credibility, as well as distract listeners.
Do your research: When there are different points of view to resolve a problem, be sure that you’re well-prepared to provide solid information to back up your position.
Don’t get personal: This applies not only to what you say, but to the way you say it. When communicating a disagreement, be sure your body language doesn’t rub someone the wrong way.
Know Your Non-Negotiables: To disagree respectfully, you need to be willing to make compromises. But go into every disagreement knowing the things—if there are any—that you aren’t willing to negotiate.