Why Are We Yelling? – Buster Benson
The art of influencing people who disagree with you.
The Art of Productive Disagreement
Most of us are weary of disagreement, so a claim that disagreement can be productive is intriguing.
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Some of the common misconceptions with respect to disagreement are:
- Arguments are bad.
- They change people’s minds.
- They come to an end.
The Psychology Of Disagreements: The Voice Of Power
This is the internal voice that will tell you things such as “Take it or leave it” or “My way or the highway.” The voice of power isn’t the ultimate conflict resolution strategy, because you can’t argue with sheer force. This is what power does—it forcibly closes down arguments and ends conflict in your favor, which is an undeniable evolutionary advantage.
The Psychology Of Disagreements: The Voice Of Reason
This is the internal voice which will tell you things such as “Why?” or “That doesn’t add up”. The voice of reason is all about using reasons to shut down a debate. The voice of reason works best in situations where you have disagreements with people who share a respect for the same higher authority or are part of the same group or organisation that your reasons draw from.
The Psychology Of Disagreements: The Voice Of Avoidance
This is the internal voice that tells you things such as “I would prefer not to” or “Leave me out of it.”
Conflict avoiders have identified flaws in the voices of power and reason, and so they have chosen to address conflicts by simply refusing to participate in them in the first place.
The Psychology Of Disagreements: The Missing Voice
The fourth voice, which is missing during a disagreement, is the voice of possibility.
This muted voice seeks to make conflict productive. This voice resonates with questions like:
- What are we missing?
- What else is possible?
- What else can we do with what we have?
- Who else can we bring into the conversation to give us a new perspective?