Article: Why disagreeing with colleagues is good

Culture

Why disagreeing with colleagues is good

Disagreements are healthy. Think its crazy to say this? Wait till you read about the many benefits of challenging each other.
Why disagreeing with colleagues is good

Friction, as we all know, may not have a positive ring to it, but a lack of it signals a problem. Sure, all of us want to have an idyllic workspace with no tensed conversations, but can we really prosper in such an environment? The answer is a resounding NO

Harmony is overrated

We should really get rid of our cloaks and go full throttle on expressing discontent. We don’t want you to pick fights though. Just wake yourself up from the dormant state of always agreeing with our co-workers and bosses. Most importantly, stop taking ‘no’ for an answer! 

Voicing a concern doesn’t always mean you’re dissenting. All you are doing is exercising your mind and right to contribute. When you disagree, you bring many benefits on the table which may not be easily visible at first.

But, before we take this forward, we want you to stick to a rule of thumb: monitoring your tone and attitude. Because if you aren’t careful you run the risk of escalating disagreements into heated arguments. Now, over to discussing the benefits. 

You can learn and grow together

Sometimes we fear offending our colleagues. We worry obsessively about ‘what if they don’t see my point’ or ‘what if they take an offense’. But, the more you dwell on this fear, the worse it gets. You will go back with a conflicting mind and crib about it. Not exactly the kind of peace of mind you wanted? So, instead of chickening out, draw attention to facts and logic. Hold a constructive debate so that each of you leaves the room with a lesson. 

If you are the one being challenged then you must learn to stop feeling embarrassed just because you were questioned. Keep your emotions under check and don’t retort unthinkingly. 

It makes space for fresh perspective

Imagine this. You’ve been cooking pasta one way all your life. You boil pasta, drain the water and add the sauce. One day there’s a potluck organized at work. To your surprise, you notice that one of your colleagues cooked pasta different from the way you do. You ask for the recipe and silently think – ‘was I living under the rocks’ to not know we could add red wine to my pasta’! You see that NEW may not always be a threat. You can always benefit from a fresh perspective. Surround yourself with people who don’t undermine innovative thinking. They are the ones who will teach you the importance of learning every day.

It sows seeds of better interpersonal relationships

In a conflict situation, it is easy to take your colleague as your enemy. Chances are that you may even want to storm out of the room or get into a heated argument. Unfortunately, that’s not how it should be. So, stop making meeting rooms a personal battleground. Don’t fight with those who disagree with you. Instead, acknowledge their points of view. Keep up the collaborative approach and work closely with each other. 

Ask questions and listen with an intent to arrive at a solution which is best for the company. Only when you stop being conflict-averse can you develop meaningful relationships at work. As a matter of fact, you will look forward to coming to work every day than sulk about your situation.

In simple words, we must make a place for disagreements at work if we want to accomplish more. It starts with knowing that the benefits of conflicts are real. Then comes getting comfortable having heated discussions and learning how to express yourself without hurting others or taking arguments personally. Initially, you may hesitate to raise your concern but don’t cave in. Cast aside all your fears of ever being questioned or ridiculed for speaking your mind. Initially, it may seem difficult but you will learn to articulate yourself better with time.

Topics: Culture, Life @ Work, Employee Relations

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