Disagreement at Work Has Its Rewards

September 27, 2021

The capacity to manage and participate in dispute is one of the most critical skills required of today's leaders. Despite this, many leaders face challenges.

They either do a bad job of handling it or do not handle it at all.

Only a few people are good at it, and they can lead their teams through constructive disagreement.

Unfortunately, this isn't the case in most cases.

The good news is that workplace conflict brings a slew of advantages. It provides better work results, chances to learn and develop, healthier relationships, more job satisfaction, and a more inclusive workplace, according to Amy Gallo of Harvard Business Review.

To get these advantages, debate must be handled in a constructive manner. This implies it stays focused on the task at hand rather than on individuals.

You don't disagree with someone because you're irritated with them, for example. You also don't see another person's disagreement with your concept as a sign of contempt or rejection of your knowledge.

It is the duty of both sides, those who disagree and those who are disagreed with, to make the discussion constructive.

We are more likely to attain the advantages Gallo mentioned: greater outcomes, learning, like our work, and feeling involved when these components are in place. This week, we'll look at four methods for maximizing the advantages of workplace conflict.

Disagreement should be discussed before it is disagreed

When someone challenges our beliefs, we all react better if we know ahead of time that it will happen and that the individual has good intentions. We are ready to be questioned and feel safe in the knowledge that the dispute is about the job and not about ourselves.

We may need to remind ourselves of this as well. “This conflict isn't about me; it's about the job.”

To do this, introduce the concept of constructive disagreement to your team. This entails presenting the concept and receiving feedback in a number of settings.

For example, in one-on-one meetings with coworkers, a check-in with his supervisor, and so on. This strategy involves others in order to get buy-in and get everyone talking about and comfortable with the concept.

All of this takes place before you really disagree on anything.

Then you may choose someone to play Devil's Advocate, or someone to purposefully encourage (or instigate) discussion between opposing viewpoints. By assigning this position, everyone is informed ahead of time that there will be a dispute. We all perform better when we know what to anticipate.

Declare your intention and make sure it's in line with your objectives.
Even if the concept has been socialized and the team has decided how to handle it in advance, emotional responses may arise fast in dispute. People may be upset by disagreements and arguments, and no one likes to seem stupid in front of others.

It's no surprise that many people shun it completely.

Take a break if you see this in the individual with whom you're having a disagreement. Declare your ambitions and connect yourself with the work's objectives, which you both share. Reiterate that you're on the same team and that you value their contributions.

Start there if you discover you don't have the same objectives. "Before we go any further, how about we get on the same page about what we want to achieve?"

What are your objectives, or what are you hoping to achieve?” Then express your viewpoint.

It's much simpler to discuss ways to accomplish the objectives without emotional distractions once everyone's thoughts are on the table.

Provide alternatives and suggestions

Sharing your dissatisfaction but failing to provide fresh ideas or solutions is ineffective and (let's face it) irritating. It will be seen as whining, and the person you are opposing will have very little recourse.

Begin by piqueing your interest and inquiring about additional options that have been considered. Consider the possibility that you don't know the full story.

Investigate the situation before offering any suggestions. When you've done that, make sure your new ideas are in line with the common goals or the situation's objectives.

This will seem beneficial and supportive to the other individual, as well as contributing to a better overall solution. There will be moments when you disagree, make a good effort, and nothing changes.

You and your team are continuing following a course that you believe is incorrect. You're frustrated, you may feel rejected, and you're ruminating on how you should have handled it better.

Instead, adopt "temporal distancing," often known as "zooming out." This is to take into account the amount of time that has passed between the current state and the future.

Consider how you will feel in a week, a month, a year, or five years about this scenario. What effect will this circumstance have on you in the future?

In many cases, the effect is negligible, as we can see by taking a step back and zooming out. It assists us in letting go of our frustrations and focusing on the future.

Some people find disagreement repulsive, while others find it exciting. What we do know is that when it is managed properly, it has a lot of advantages.

Practice the methods that make conflict beneficial to get the most out of it.

Thanks to Amy Drader at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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