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Guidelines for Productive Disagreement

https://medium.com/thinking-is-hard/guidelines-for-fruitful-dialogue-9d7d0b46da89

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Guidelines for Productive Disagreement
5 guidelines: Use friendly language, understand first, ask honest questions, speak for yourself, and help each other become better.

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Guidelines for Disagreeing Productively

Guidelines for Disagreeing Productively

While discussing, debating or arguing, follow these guidelines:

  1. Use respectful language, even when talking of someone not present at that time.
  2. Opinions are not facts.
  3. ...

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Basic Understanding Of Ideas And Emotions

  • In a discussion, there can be ideas and stuff you didn’t know about.
  • Try to understand an alternative viewpoint.
  • Do not jump into conclusions.
  • Emotions are not ...

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Asking Honest And Open Questions

  • In an argument, ask open-ended, genuine questions.
  • Try to find the answer to what you feel needs to be asked.
  • Ask others as an individual and not as a group.
  • Li...

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Speaking For Yourself

  • Speak what you have experienced first-hand.
  • Don’t answer questions not meant for you.
  • Do not speculate, and clarify instead.

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Helping Each Other

  • During a disagreement, your aim should be to learn something and make yourself and others a better person than before.
  • Suggest improvements where things require intervention.
  • ...

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Do not Critique The Questions

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Focus on the person, not the problem

Our ability to solve problems is helpful in life, but it is the wrong thing to do in situations when people simply want to be heard, understood, and feel connected.

When someone is scared, angry, depressed, or just upset, they don't want to feel like something is wrong with them. When you give unsolicited advice to someone who is struggling, you make them feel like a problem. Give advice when someone asks for it, otherwise, hold off on your wisdom and instead focus on being present.

Unsing open-ended questions

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Ask open-ended questions to communicate that you're interested in them. Avoid questions beginning with 'Why' and use 'What' or 'How' instead. Generic open-ended questions that work well are:

  • What was that like for you?
  • Can you tell me more about that?
  • How did you feel about that?
  • What was going through your mind?

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How Confirmation Bias Influences Our Communication

  • When we confront new information, we interpret it to support our existing beliefs. Any thought or discussion that confirms our prejudice and thought patterns seems appealing to us and is known as confirmation bias.
  • When we try to argue our case (because of course, we are right!) it strengthens the defence of the opposition.
  • However wrong it seems to us, their arguments are correct too according to the confirmation bias they have experienced, which has solidified their point of view.

Figuring Out Your Opponent's Point Of View

Get into the other person’s shoes and figure out why their point of view is so important for them.

Conflict is almost inevitable in an argument due to both the parties ‘doubling down’ on their confirmation bias. Instead of going the way of souring your relations, a better approach is to have an open mind and simply understand the other person’s point of view.