#17 How to Process Advice and Avoid Disagreement

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by Mike Lally

One of the things to be wary of when seeking advice in conversation is the quality of the response generally received.

Additionally, we are all too aware that at times disagreement is experienced during conversation.

Much heat is generated, energy is wasted, and the wires come down though basically it’s nobody’s fault.

There is a tendency to respond to any advice with a different point of view, often preceded by words such as “Yes, but… “.

Perhaps a more superior reply that is inclusive and non-threatening is to use an Agreement Frame.

Rather than disputing what has been said it makes more sense to agree before tabling your view.

This softens resistance and leads to harmony and other possibilities. It is better to avoid the words “but” and “understand”.

In fact, it is the “and” that leads to the consideration of other alternative points of view.

“I agree… and…
“I respect… and…
“I appreciate… and…

“I appreciate what you are saying… and… ”
“I agree with you; that’s absolutely right… and… ”

“Look, I agree with everything you’ve said. You’re absolutely right.

From your perspective I see it that way too and I think you’ll agree with me that there are other ways of looking at this that could be equally as important”.

“I respect how emotional you are about this project.

It’s quite a relief to talk to somebody who is so passionate in what they believe to be true and I know you’d welcome a couple of suggestions for your consideration”

“I appreciate your point of view.

It’s so good to hear somebody speak their mind so clearly and honestly and I’m sure you’re open to an alternative that will create a win-win result.”

Keep in mind that when seeking advice the response you will receive is conditioned by the state of mind and current events occurring in the person’s life.

Notwithstanding this, it is often suggested that having a mentor or coach is a distinct advantage given the array of uncertainty life presents in all kinds of contexts.

Irrespective of the wisdom of this course of action it is imperative to be conscious of the circumstances this person may be dealing with.

Just what is going on in their world? How will the emotional ups and downs that are affecting their lives prejudice the answers communicated?

How will this affect the quality of the advice? Experience reveals that most advice is just smoke and mirrors – well-intentioned but fairly pointless.

Knowing how to deal with disagreement and give yourself the best chance of receiving useful advice is a real plus.

Use the above methods to ensure the conversation is not shut down and the person remains open and positive.

You never know, a juicy pearl of wisdom may be forthcoming. But above all be mindful that relying on your own mind and considerable attributes will generally serve you so much better. That’s the real prize.

When you next place your head on your pillow ask your unconscious for feedback on a given tricky situation and don’t be too surprised if you wake up with a superior answer!

My advice? Know Your Mind and trust your own judgment!

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