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 presented by author / motivational speaker Nancy McFadden M.A.




     You may ask yourself why anyone would want to speak on, “How to Disagree Effectively”, which is little more than talking about arguing. However, like it or not, we know that people get caught up in arguments and disagreements of one sort or another every day.

       There is one school of thought sanctioned by millions which is that we should do all that is possible to avoid disagreements. Many people are of the belief that arguing is wrong and more importantly, are convinced that disagreements can lead to violence.

         However, there is another side of that thought, which is that stress or differences not confronted can lead to frustration, seething anger and sometimes violence.

    In other words, opposing ideas, philosophies, desires, needs, priorities, etc. are an inevitability of life. The responsibility lies with each of us to determine where we stand in relation to what we do or do not want. From there, it is the responsibility of each of us to learn how to transfer that information to another without demanding they think and act or believe in the same things.  Because it is inevitable that our differences will become obvious at some time or other, and very likely challenged, each person is chargeable with learning how to confront others.

    After all, we become known by identifying ourselves. If we refuse to speak up, allowing others to decide, when it is in contrast with our beliefs, we are victimized by virtue of handing authority to those others who state their disagreements.

      By refusing to confront what we determine is wrong, unjust, or a simple non-fit, we are subtly cooperating with our opposition. Furthermore, others are then positioned to guess who we are and where our boundaries lie. (They will seldom guess accurately). Some won’t even try once they know you will not speak up when you disagree.

    If you follow the logic of this argument, it would appear then, that disagreement is necessary. Because it is, it also is in the best interest of each of us to decide to address situations where differences of opinion are contrary to ours; and to develop the ability to do so with competence.

     What is indicated here, is that the ability to confront is vital to our existence and quality of life and therefore, needs to be developed in each of us. It is an important trait to pursue and develop, whether we do or do not enjoy the practice, because it is an inevitability of life, best handled with knowledge and a practiced degree of competence.

     We all argue. For some of us, it is more than once or twice a day. When you consider interaction with all the people in your life, there are...

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