WISDOM LEADING: The Conversation

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Does "Agree to Disagree" Miss the Point?

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables, Wisdom Leading

Q: What do others' pronouncements tell you about their values, motivations and passions? What does your reaction to them tell about you? In this hyper-kinetic election season, it's likely you've been bombarded with opinions, delivered at shrill volume from the left and right. And because political views are embedded in our deeply held belief systems, discussions can turn into ugly rhetorical knife fights. When somebody across the table asks, "So, who are you voting for?" how you respond is as likely to raise blood pressures as it is to further dialogue. "Can't we just agree to disagree" is often the often the option with the least blood spilled. What if this is also a missed opportunity? What if, by listening to an opposing viewpoint without judgment, you can learn how others see the world? That insight is incredibly valuable to you, and them. Instead of dismissing them reflexively, try instead turning the conflicting ideas over in your mind to try to understand why those views matter to the other person. Great leaders open up the conversation to new ideas, breakthrough ones, not just mano y mano fights over existing beliefs.

Q: What do others' pronouncements tell you about their values, motivations and passions? What does your reaction to them tell about you?

In this hyper-kinetic election season, it's likely you've been bombarded with opinions, delivered at shrill volume from the left and right. And because political views are embedded in our deeply held belief systems, discussions can turn into ugly rhetorical knife fights. When somebody across the table asks, "So, who are you voting for?" how you respond is as likely to raise blood pressures as it is to further dialogue. "Can't we just agree to disagree" is often the option with the least blood spilled.

What if this is also a missed opportunity? What if, by listening to an opposing viewpoint without judgment, you can learn how others see the world? That insight is incredibly valuable to you, and them. Instead of dismissing them reflexively, try instead turning the conflicting ideas over in your mind to try to understand why those views matter to the other person. Great leaders open up the conversation to new ideas, breakthrough ones, not just mano y mano fights over existing beliefs.

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Dr. Foster Mobley

Trusted advisor and coach to admired executives globally for 3 decades, Thought leader on wisdom-based approaches to breakthrough leading, "Lead Coach" for Deloitte's experienced and high potential leader development, Team performance advisor to two NCAA championship teams