Workplace Lesson #113

When you disagree, have an objection, are concerned, or are passionately opposed to the points of a discussion, it’s best to frame your criticism in the form of a positive statement. Nothing shuts down a productive discussion like complaining without offering a set of differing options. Complaints without proposals are dead-end statements that ask others to do the arguing for you, but complaints followed by options for a new direction that conforms to your beliefs lead to more discussion, which has the potential to lead to a change in policy.

Additionally, even when you passionately disagree with the prevailing opinion and articulately and eloquently state your position and propose new options, sometimes you don’t get to ‘win’. Sometimes your passionate position is just not in the best interests, as seen by the group as a whole, of the group, the institution, or the users. And sometimes you just have to accept that, and move on.

Now listening: Dixie Chicks, Voice Inside My Head

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