What if… YOU disagree with someone?

Do you lob word grenades, judge and flee, or engage and learn?

Conflict, Disagreement, Anger

Everyone comes from a different life experience and has witnessed, researched, or considered things you haven’t.  -REALLY!

But far too often we are too busy, proud, judgmental, and afraid to dive in and try to discover what those things are.

This morning I watched this unfold on a friend’s Facebook feed:

My friend had posted about a controversial topic.

And one of his friends responded, informing him (and the rest of his friends) that she could not stand the flood of his posts expressing his views. Then she declared that she was unfollowing him for a certain length of time hoping that the person she thinks he is, will return.

Apparently she doesn’t think she’s missing anything, by expecting her friends to fit into a box and agree with everything she believes.

What she didn’t know is that she just added fuel to my increasing curiosity and fascination with this kind of behavior:   

And when we continue to speak WHILE WE JUDGE, a majority of our world witnesses:

  1. Polar opposites lobbing word grenades at each other
  2. Drama instead of dialog
  3. Increasing conflict instead of collaboration
  4. More problems than solutions

Oddly enough, just twenty-nine-hours prior to reading my friend’s Facebook feed, I was a guest host with Dan Forbes for a #LeadWithGiants Tweet Chat titled What if we disagree?

During that chat, 75 people discussed the questions at the bottom of this post and considered the impact of our attitudes and behaviors when we are in the midst of a disagreement.  In my next post I’ll share some of their thoughts with you.

Today I’m DARING YOU to consider the questions below and examine how YOUR behavior in the midst of a disagreement impacts:

  • YOUR intellectual growth
  • YOUR problem solving ability
  • YOUR life
  • YOUR relationships
  • YOUR workplace
  • YOUR community
  • YOUR nation
  • YOUR world

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

  1. What if we disagree?
  2. Why do we struggle to listen to and consider dissenting opinions?
  3. When is it important to consider a dissenting opinion?
  4. When is it important to offer a dissenting opinion?
  5. What specific behaviors and actions shut down productive dialogs?
  6. How does open and candid dialog impact problem solving?
  7. Do YOU seek dialog with people who disagree with you? REALLY? Why?
  8. Why are we less willing to consider the opinions of others, than we are to share our own?
  9. What have you learned from considering another perspective?


President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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4 thoughts on “What if… YOU disagree with someone?

  1. This is such a powerful post, Chery and a wonderful tweetchat!

    Disagreeing is so difficult sometimes because we feel that others may misinterpret our words. In thinking about our book collaboration, if the content coaches didn’t encourage speaking up and disagreeing if we felt it was important, we would never have created such an incredible book. The thing is with disagreement you need an environment of trust and transparency first. That will help others see disagreeing as just part of their contributions.

    Thanks Chery!

    • Thank you so much Terri!

      Your emphasis on trust and transparency first is huge! The book project is such a powerful example of how our shared vision facilitated trust and encouraged disagreement.

      As I ponder your thoughts, I’m thinking of teams that rarely disagreed in meetings, but talked about each other behind closed doors. And thinking about others that have been so judgmental about each other’s opinions that they have been unable to seek first to understand and build trust.

  2. Loved this post Chery! You made some great points about ways to engage with those with whom we disagree. Most of all, it prompted me to rethink some of my own attitudes and behaviors.

    • Thank you LaRae!

      I’ve been flipping “this rock” around for several years, trying to understand why we do what we do. It means a great deal to know that it is causing others to flip some rocks too.