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How to disagree without disagreeing?

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By definition, being unpleasant is acting unkindly and ill-tempered, which often motivates negative feedback from others. People in the technology industry spend most of their time with different technologies, which does not help in improving their communication skills. However, they often have to discuss the application of these creations with colleagues from different industries. It’s essential to get your point across as a technology and business specialist to the other team without sounding unfriendly or crabby. As a tech-savvy person, you can expect disagreements about the impact of your creations on the lives of ordinary Tom, Dick and Harrys. Here are a few ways you can disagree without being obnoxious:

1. Practice Active Listening

The first rule of meaningful conversation is listening. Give your colleague the opportunity to speak. You should not only listen. You have to listen carefully and process what the other is saying. It’s no secret that people in the tech industry are more innovative than most people. Their high intelligence can make them feel like they have nothing to learn from anyone. During a debate, you can always learn something new on the subject, especially as the tech industry is constantly evolving and more information is available. You will also find that actively listening to your interlocutor gives you ideas on how to respond to their statement.

Related: How to Disagree the Right Way?

2. Don’t take it personally

Often times, when we disagree with others, and they appear rude and indifferent, it has nothing to do with us. Taking the main road every time is the best way to disagree without being obnoxious. If you match a rude colleague, you will undoubtedly escalate the matter, and no one in the workplace wants that.

3. Don’t just resist your opponent

If you disagree, try to identify areas of your opponent’s argument that you fully agree with, and tell them you support those parts. You can also use phrases like “That’s a good thought” or “I think you’re quite talented and I admire your work,” which will help ease the tension and help you win the argument. It wouldn’t hurt to go into details about specific things about those you admire, as long as you don’t derail the conversation. Remember that there is always something good to be found in everyone.

Related: 7 Steps to Keep Conflict Healthy

4. Get the facts straight

Starting an argument based on untrue or unverified facts will make you look incompetent and frankly embarrassing. It’s also unfair to your colleagues if you start a debate without doing your due diligence beforehand. If you don’t have all the facts, it’s a good idea to apologize for a discussion and finish the conversation later when you have all the necessary information.

5. Look and behave nicely

You’ve probably heard this before: The first thing people notice is how you look. Are you well dressed? Are you exceptionally well cared for? Are your nails trimmed well and is your hair well groomed? These are small factors that help you win arguments. You’ve already won half the battle if you look good and behave well. Dressing in a representative manner may be difficult for people in the tech industry, as they spend most of their time working with computers and often have little time to devote to their wardrobe. There are many ways to update your wardrobe. One is to get someone to shop and dress you, and the other is to spend a few hours a week on your appearance. Self-care is essential for your mental health and for winning disagreements.

Related: Why It’s Okay to Disagree With Your Coworkers

6. Agree to Disagree

You may not always reach an amicable solution to your arguments. If possible, agree to disagree and move on. If a shrug isn’t an option, try enlisting a third party to help you choose a way forward that benefits the most parties. Engaging a third party can also bring a new perspective, helping you find common ground. If a third party does not allow you to reach an agreement, the customer’s wishes must be honored. As they say, the customer is always right. However, if the technology company can’t meet the customer’s needs, it’s only fair to end the contract and let them look for services elsewhere.

The tech industry is diverse, spanning several countries and defying cultural and language barriers. To forge close working relationships with others, apply the above strategies when dealing with disagreements. Being obnoxious can cause information to be lost in translations, poor quality services/products and, worse, contracts terminated, which can lead to strained professional relationships. The value of expert communication skills cannot be underestimated in the tech industry.

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