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Let Us Agree To Disagree Stakeholder Management

 Disagreements can turn toxic. Those who are confrontational by nature tend to handle disagreements differently and that usually is far from friendly. How do you handle disagreements?

 It can be a clash of ego when emotions run high and are not kept in check, resulting in aggression and confrontation, which can be potentially disastrous. How do you handle confrontations?

The best way to avert the head-on collision is to avoid the collision. Many a seasoned HRs would advise on the ‘discussion and dialogue’ mode, rather than ‘returning the fire’. One HR opined, “Confrontation takes you nowhere and leaves those involved with heartburn that’s going to take some time to heal. Instead resort to conversation which doesn’t get heated as altercation. There is a fine line between conversation and argument. Debate is encouraged and so is deliberation. Those who tend to be too argumentative are going to making things difficult for themselves and those around them."

Find resolution; not reasons to justify.

Meetings with pain points can drag on and on for hours together tossing back and forth with both parties either reasoning why ‘they are right” or typical cat fight to clamor for the attention. The lie when uttered the loudest becomes the truth kind of maxim. Don’t turn meetings to shouting matches, instead gain control and aim for closure at the earliest possible. If you don’t have the authority to take decisions, then collect data points and carry the conversation assuring action by escalating to the next level. There is always a way – when you are composed and collected unwilling to pick a fight, how can someone start a fight? Experience plays a critical role as profiling of employees is possible to a mature professional. They know how to give and take; accede and agree; identify common ground and settle as well. Typical trade-off.

Negotiate, but don’t negate.
What is meant by trade-off? Go for a win-win situation. Sometimes, the employee might be a valued asset and hence losing will not be a profitable proposition. In such cases, companies do tend to go for the mutually settlement whereby both the interests' are protected. There is no need to negate the grievance; hear it out and if and where possible, negotiate. And outright rejection is refusal to entertain any request or remedy. 

Leave room for Disagreement
The work place is made up of people, not puppets pulled by strings. So as individuals, everyone is entitled to their opinion and its highly likely there might exist difference in opinion. A progressive culture will call for debate and disagreements. If dissent is the essence of democracy, then disagreements should be heard and sorted. Sweeping aside or dismissing those disagreeing would make the culture regressive, suffocative and stifling. Everyone must feel that they have a voice – which may agree or disagree with the views/opinions presented. You can’t force someone to think on the same lines as you do, and you can’t be always right, and neither can you force someone to think right. Agreeing to disagree is a challenge and you better be up to it, if you want to be successful in whatever you are engaged.

Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress. -  Mahatma Gandhi



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