“The most important thing in life is meaningful work and meaningful relationships.” – Lewis Howes

Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment. Disagreements – when managed well – have lots of positive outcomes, such as better relationships, opportunities to learn and grow, and a more inclusive work environment. To reap these benefits, you need to overcome any fear of conflict you may have.

Ray Dalio, billionaire, philanthropist and author, is no stranger to disagreements. Here are some of his tips on how to work successfully with someone you may not always agree with:

  1. You should want it. You should be willing and open to accepting other people's point of view, even though you may disagree. Embrace the disagreement and work towards a better understanding.
  2. Put your honest thoughts on the table and have the other person put their honest thoughts on the table. As uncomfortable as it may feel when someone challenges your ideas, it's an opportunity to learn. So be open, receptive, patient and kind, and you will both learn and gain the respect of one another.
  3. Set protocols for disagreeing well. There are certain exercises that you can agree to do, like following a two-minute rule. Each person has a turn at speaking “without interruption, be it verbal or gestures”, and/or consider a suitable person to mediate.
  4. Have a way of getting past the decision and moving on. Don't just keep banging at each other. Stop or pause if needed. Once you settle down, go back to the argument and follow the protocols.

Disagreement should never be equated with unkindness. Most people are willing to hear a different perspective if you share it respectfully. Most of the time, people simply haven't been taught how to disagree.

To listen to the interview of Lewis Howes with Ray Dalio, click here: https://lewishowes.com/podcast/create-financial-success-develop-principles-understand-your-purpose-with-ray-dalio/.

Here's to disagreeing more at work – as long as you do it with respect and empathy – from the team at Anista Employee Benefits! 😃