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Personal Growth

Personal Growth

How to Agree To Disagree In A Conscience and Courteous Manner

“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher” – Dalai Lama

Composure, respect, empathy and listening: Those are four of the words that come to mind when trying to be mindful of other’s opinions and outlooks that may not align with our own.  I believe that we have all been there at times when we are, to say the least frustrated, feeling unheard and completely disagree with a person(s) or situation.  Often it can lead to upset, anger which can then lead to words that we wish we’ve never uttered.  Or perhaps we feel so wronged – “why can they not see that I am right and they are wrong?”  I believe that most of us want to avoid conflict and confrontation and live in both our personal and professional lives amicably and cordially. Sometimes that doesn’t always work even when our best intentions are what we lead with.  Again, I am sure we have all witnessed at some point or another someone’s wrath dare we say even our own!  To co-exist with the diverse and colorful people around us while keeping our dignity and equilibrium can sometimes be challenging.  We can sometimes learn what not to do from the acrimony of others.

  • Consider the Ultimate Goal

Look at the big picture and set your objectives for long-term success.  Ensure you have done your homework before going in with a “firm” hand.  We naturally want to be right, but at what cost?  Remember the “don’t sweat the small stuff?” – it is easy to get caught up on being right that you lose what the ultimate goal really is.

  • Keeping Unnecessary Expressions Under Control

As in the quote above tolerance is a key practice.  When others do not agree with our views on personal or professional circumstances that sometimes can feel like we are being dismissed or that the other parties are saying we are in the wrong.  Raising of the voice, aggressive tones or patronizing undertones, rolling of the eyes will not change anyone’s mind to see your way, but perhaps feel like you are the antagonizer.  You can stand your ground and maintain your beliefs, but understand others have their own too.

  • Listen, Listen, Listen

Perhaps the most important practice of all.  Sometimes it is very difficult to listen when we are trying to make our point, feeling unheard or unimportant which can turn into not allowing anyone else to speak.  I don’t know who came up with this term, but no we do not live in “a universe of one” – I love that!  Listening and I mean really listening requires empathy as well.  We may still not agree with what the other person(s) opinion or view is, but we can gain some insight into what they are trying to say.

  • Accepting That Clashing Will Happen And Knowing When To Close

The end result is one that should end on a positive note.  In business and our personal lives being a team player is what it takes to be successful.  Sometimes you may feel like the innovator, the one with the great “eureka” moment and the rest of the group doesn’t quite see it the same way.  Disagreeing in a respectful manner is what can allow us to grow, to learn from others and to teach others having an open mind.  Knowing when to move on and not dwell that “your way” wasn’t accepted.  Stay focused and aligned with your goals while remaining supportive and respectful

These are lessons I’ve learned along the way – sometimes not in the easiest ways, but self-control has led to self-assurance and resulted in confidence – one of the most important attributes one can possess – beauty is confidence.


fotini xoxo

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