Would you agree that we all have opinions that convey our values, beliefs and judgements?And we feel passionate about certain issues, don't we? And sometimes we are very passionate about those opinions, are we not? It's ours, we're right, and we aren't changing our mind! Well everyday we are faced with those that disagree with our "perfect solution", forsaking our wisdom for their own. The nerve! Guess what, everyone is entitled to their opinion, their facts, their life, their choice- even when we are asked for our opinion. Many years ago, a great wise man said "Agree with thine adversary quickly". Here are 3 tips to turn foe to friend:
1. Don't say "I'm smarter than you" or "I'll change your mind" - directly or indirectly- Instead, when someone is discussing something with you that you disagree with, " I may be wrong, I frequently am. Lets examine the facts" (Dale Carnegie)
2. Make it easy to say yes- NLP techniques use certain phrases that the brain naturally agrees with, and once you get a few yes's, our internal monitor keeps us consistent, does it not?. Some examples include, Would you agree (insert name) we have uncovered some very valid points? This is an important topic, is it not? You said (insert quick recap), is that correct? It's easier to say yes, after you've said it a few times, right?
3. Don't take opinions personally - Remember the saying "walk a while in my shoes", we all experience differences in our lives and what one thinks is normal, another thinks is outrageous. Martin Luther King Jr once said "I judge people by their own principles- not by my own". Nothing others do is because of you, each of us has our own view of the world.
Imagine you are having a party at your home this evening. Everything is perfect, the food is ready, your outfit is perfect, the drinks....oh you forgot to get ice. Now, you've decided to remain in hair curlers and your dirty jeans, just to run to the local store for the ice. As you are walking through the store you see a party guest, but it's ok because the guest didn't see you. After all, you look a mess, you don't want the guest thinking your appearance is a preview to the party. So you hide, scurry to pay for the ice and rush home.
An hour later, you look amazing, the party is great, but you notice the party guest from the store isn't there. You think, she stood me up. The nerve! Plus I know she was in the area, dressed and ready an hour ago! No more invites for her, I didn't want her here anyway, I'll just have to tell so and so about her.
At the same time, absent party guest is feeling snubbed because you didn't speak to her at the store. She thinks, " I didn't want to go to her party anyway, plus she looked a mess. I wonder if the others are aware of how she carries herself" .
Don't let this happen. Don't take anything personally. Have the courage to ask for clarification
Question and thought to ponder: Have you ever examined what you "gain" from being right all the time? And if you gain so much, why does it not feel good?