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How to Agree to Disagree While Being Open-Minded

January 25, 2021
2 Min Read
Photo by
Kasia Bojanowska

According to Joseph Grenny, co-author of Crucial Conversations, our survival instincts naturally cue us to “avoid situations that might harm us.” While disagreeing with a peer seems scary and risky, it actually increases our understanding of one another because it requires us to hear the other point of view.

Reflect on how to agree to disagree

Learning how to agree to disagree is fundamental in developing and honing your communication skills. Start by simply taking a moment to reflect.

How do you respectfully disagree?

Exercises to help you agree to disagree

Now, it's time to put your reflection into action. Finding opportunities to implement your communication skills can allow you agree to disagree.  

  • Center your disagreement around an idea and not a person. This will alleviate any judgment or accusations that may make your peer feel uncomfortable or attacked.
  • Validate points you do agree with and clearly state the points you don’t agree with. Remain respectful, calm, and professional when saying, “I agree with.., but I do have pushback with…”
  • Be willing to admit when you’re wrong. Acknowledging when you’re wrong to your team can disarm the conversation and show you’re willing to understand various perspectives.
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