How to disagree


Many people in my workshops tell me they want to learn how to disagree. Especially with their boss, or other people that are higher up.

It’s easy.  

Just say, “I disagree.”

I’m obviously joking.  You can see learning how to disagree is not actually what they want.

What they want to learn is how to get the other person to agree with them. That’s a whole different thing.

Last week I had an extremely competent woman in my workshop.  No one does her type of work better than she does.  She was very soft-spoken and very respectful of others.  She avoided unpleasant situations and frequently held back saying which she was thinking.  In a group she was especially subdued.

She was at manager level, but despite many attempts, never moved higher in the organization. She had almost given up making it to Director.

Everyone loves her.  She was frustrated.

It was especially tough for her when she disagrees.

The difficulty most people have when they disagree, is maintaining a deep human connection and a feeling of rapport with the other person.

If you lose these 2 things in a disagreement, you’re going to fight (and lose) a battle.

These 2 are the foundation for every great conversation and every great outcome you’ll ever have.

The mistake people make is they start disagreeing when there’s no real connection between them and the other person. I see this all the time in my workshops.  They’re so focused on disagreeing, they’re not focused on staying connected.  Do that and you lose.  Period.

They think the problem is that they’re disagreeing. 

Not true.

The problem isn’t that you’re disagreeing. The problem is that you’ve lost that strong connection with the other person.  If you never had it to begin with, it’s even worse.

Without the connection, you have no power

I have been receiving a series of emails from this woman in my workshop saying that learning these skills has had a profound impact on her life. She’s speaking up. She disagreed with her boss and swung him to her point of view. She tells me how exhilarating it is to have these skills and how strong, how powerful she feels.  She is dancing through life.

I predict she will be a Director soon, and then not long after, she’ll be a VP.

Build that deep human connection.

Then talk about anything you want.