While relating with other people on daily basis we may have reasons to disagree over certain things but while disagreeing, too many people often miss the main point. Someone you are talking to in the office or in any other meeting may not have said the right thing but you have to learn not to attack the person who is speaking. Your presentations must always attack the issues that the person has raised. I remember that in my university days when I did a compulsory course in Philosophy, they would tell us that it is a form of fallacy when you are to argue a case and your arguments attack the person rather than the issue. That simply means it is wrong to focus on the person instead of focusing on the issue.
Many people in their offices have become enemies to some other people because they have to work together and they always disagree. You will also be amazed that in some churches or other non-profit organizations, team mates have become enemies. In the family setting, it is not a different case. You will always see spouses attacking each other the things that they should not even face each other. At the end of the day they head to the court for divorce and they say they want to separate because of irreconcilable differences.
You can actually have a better relationship with people and move on smoothly if only you understand communicating with them. In communicating with people, one of the most important things is for you to be able to present your case and disagreements without bringing the personality of the person you are talking to into the discourse. That’s being professional and having a civil conversation.
If for example you and your wife have to do something together and she disagrees about the strategy of execution, you don’t have to start saying she’s lazy. She never wants to work. She is always discouraging you from doing things. No! That’s not the way things are done. When she disagrees on how you should do things together, you only need to ask questions. What are you suggesting we do? What’s your own option and you also have to be flexible in going about things. If you are in the office and you need to do something with a team you also need to be a bit patient. If a team member says ‘let’s do it this way,’ you should not go about shouting and saying ‘he or she is too domineering. He always wants to decide what should be done.’ What I think you should do is to listen to the person first. After listening then you tell the person what you thing may not work in that idea and proffer your suggestions.
Whatever it is that will make you disagree with some other people should not make you their enemies. It is really okay to disagree with people but when you do, make sure that you do not attack their persons. Deal with the issues that you disagree with.
It is possible to have a smooth relationship with other people and we should not make every conversation look too difficult while portraying the other person as the wicked person. Keep the conversation going and keep it on the issue, not the people.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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