Why We Should Be Disagreeing More at Work
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Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment. And you shouldn’t want to work in one. Disagreements – when managed well – have lots of positive outcomes, such as better work products, opportunities to learn and grow, better relationships, and a more inclusive work environment. To reap these benefits, you have to get over any fear you have of conflict. Start by letting go of wanting to be liked. Instead of trying to increase your likability, focus on respect, both giving it and earning it. Don’t think of disagreement as unkind. Most people are willing to hear a different perspective if you share it respectfully. You might also try to emulate someone who is comfortable with conflict. If you’re not yet good at dealing with tense conversations, try on the persona of someone who is. Whichever tactic you decide to try, practice in small doses. Be direct in a low-stakes conversation and see what happens, for example. Chances are it will go better than you expect.

Amy Gallo