The Importance of Respecting Others Opinions

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A difference of opinion can greatly affect both your business and personal life in a negative way if it isn’t handled correctly.

Let’s face it, sometimes people see things differently from you. That realization is more relevant today than it probably ever has been. All you need to do is turn on the news for 10 minutes, and you’ll see a panel of people in an argument. It’s not a good look, but in today’s society, it’s easy to find yourself in the same position.

As you may be familiar, a difference of opinion can greatly affect both your business and personal life in a negative way if it isn’t handled correctly.

One of the great outlines that Dale Carnegie writes in “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is “how to win people to your way of thinking.” He lays out 7 simple steps (which we will be reviewing more of overtime.) One of the steps is to show respect for the other person’s opinions and to never say “you’re wrong.”

Now, I know you’re probably thinking that this is easier said than done. When someone disagrees with you, it’s just natural to think that they are wrong. This feeling is especially emphasised when you really believe that your opinion is right.

But here’s the thing: Your opinion and the other person’s opinion could both be correct- even if you see things very differently.

Even if you truly believe that an individual is wrong, you should never blatantly tell them so. This is only going to create resentment and resistance.

This is by no means saying that you have to agree with everyone. You should simply learn to respect their right to their opinion. In fact, you can use your difference of opinion as an advantage. Use it as a way to deepen your relationship and create a useful dialogue with one another.

Here’s a good way to handle a situation when your opinion is different from the other person- especially in business:

1. Avoid interrupting: Give the person a fair opportunity to say what they want to say. In the long run they will feel more positive toward you because you’ve shown respect and recognition.

2. Acknowledge that you yourself may indeed be wrong: Admit that you could be incorrect, and then ask the other person to “examine the facts.” By approaching the other person this way, they are immediately disarmed and open to the possibility that there might be flaws in their statement.

3. Offer them another perspective: Remember, you’re not arguing with them; you’re simply offering your perspective based on your experience and expertise. Avoid confrontation by simply offering them a different view of things.

Galileo said it perfectly, “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself.” If you are going to prove anything, don’t let anyone know you are doing so. The best way is to do it so subtly that they discover “the truth” for themselves.

By following this simple piece of advice, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and headache- and you’ll likely save some relationships too.

Carly LayneComment