Disagreements happen in every workplace. However, a difference of opinion doesn’t have to result in a full-blown conflict, a situation that can hurt morale, productivity, and efficiency.
Often, it is how a varying viewpoint is discussed that determines whether the conversation is constructive or destructive. By positioning your response properly, you can express your perspective without creating a potentially harmful situation.
Whether you hold one of the exciting Painesville jobs or work in any other city, here’s how to position your response when your view differs from the perspective of your coworkers.
Validate Your Coworker’s Opinion
While it may seem strange to first give your coworker’s perspective validation, it can be a very valuable step. By acknowledging that they’ve said first and stating points where the two of you agree, you make your colleague feel heard, respected, and understood.
It also creates an opportunity for further clarification, if it turns out that you misinterpreted their stance. This can limit the likelihood that a disagreement is based on a misunderstanding, lowering the chance of unnecessary conflict.
Always Be Professional
If you want your perspective to be similarly heard, you need to remain polite and professional at all times. Don’t allow your response to be guided by emotions. Instead, focus on facts, data, or other concrete points to bring validity to your position.
Additionally, avoiding using words or phrases that focus on anything other than the primary topic. For example, don’t call your coworkers reputation or personality into question if it isn’t extremely relevant to the current dialog. Otherwise, your disagreement may come off as a personal attack, and that isn’t an effective approach and could even harm your reputation.
Only Speak for Yourself
When you are discussing your perspective, don’t make any attempts to suggest that others buy-into the stance or that anyone else supports your position. Even the use of the word “we” in conversation can accidentally cross the line, leaving your coworker wondering who else may disagree with them and distracting them from the main point of the discussion.
Don’t Focus on Winning
If your goal is to “win” in the conversation, missteps are more likely. By assuming that the discussion will have a winner and a loser, you may be more inclined to take drastic measures to get others to agree with you, and some of them may not be scrupulous.
Instead, focus on hearing what your coworker has to say, understanding their perspective, and crafting a thoughtful and fact-based response.
Be Willing to Compromise
While you and your coworker may not agree on every point, being open to finding middle ground can let you achieve a peaceful resolution together. The idea isn’t to resort to consensus decision-making, an approach that may yield subpar results, but to find a mutually beneficial approach where both parties concede in some areas.
Remember, the goal isn’t to find a solution that is best for you (or best for your coworker), but one that is best for the team, department, and company as a whole.
If you are interested in learning more, the professionals at Vector Technical Inc. can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our workplace expertise can benefit you.