Disagreements are bound to come up in your workplace, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Healthy, respectful disagreements are an essential part of an innovative workplace. The key to having these healthy disagreements is in creating the right expectations and environments. Here are ways to create the right environment for healthy disagreements at work:
If you want to have a respectful disagreement, you’ll want to start it at a time that is respectful to the other person. For example, it’s not very kind to start a disagreement with someone when they are in the middle of a meeting or on the phone. Choose a time that shows the other person that you respect their time. This will allow your disagreements to start off on the right foot.
When there is a disagreement, it is important to ask questions. If someone disagrees with you, ask questions that help you better understand their specific feedback for you. If you are disagreeing with someone else, ask questions that allow you to understand the situation and possible solutions. This will help guide your disagreements into a place of understanding.
Allow for Change
There’s no point in putting effort into fostering healthy disagreements if nothing changes as a result of those disagreements. To allow room for change, make sure all parties of a disagreement are aware that it’s okay to change their mind, behavior, or stance during the disagreement and no one will think any less of them. This open-minded approach to disagreements will let your employees express their opinions without fear of being proven wrong.
Following this advice will increase the amount of innovation in your company as well as the frequency of healthy debates between workers.