How do you disagree with someone in a productive way?

When the entire point of bringing teams together is to spur innovation and new ideas, shutting down debate or staying silent to avoid conflict will have the opposite effect. How can you have a positive impact when your ideas clash with someone else’s?

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1. Ask More Questions: Inquire rather than argue. For complex problems, there is no right answer. It’s important to cultivate the ability to integrate multiple perspectives. Instead of challenging, shift to, “I see things differently. Tell me more about why you see things that way.”

2. Power Synergy With ‘Yes, And…’: Use “and” instead of “but.” As the different viewpoint emerges, using “yes, and…” helps you seek to understand the different viewpoint and its merits. Using “and” then helps you inject your own viewpoint and synergize both ideas for a better outcome that neither of you would be able to achieve independently.

3. Keep Calm, Carry EQ: Demonstrate your emotional intelligence (EQ) by remaining calm. Restate the idea to demonstrate your understanding, and ask open-ended, nonjudgmental questions to explore their thinking. Listen attentively to their responses. Next, explain that you have a different point of view that you would like to share, express your point of view and invite dialogue. Disagreement is a part of healthy and productive communication.

Source: Forbes

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