Learn how you can disagree respectfully by avoiding this one word. Check out the episode notes and transcript: https://blog.talaera.com/disagreeing-respectfully
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Welcome to Talaera Talks, the business English communication podcast for non native professionals. My name is Paola and I am co hosting the show with Simon. In this podcast, we're going to be covering communication advice and tips to help express yourself with confidence in English in professional settings. So we hope you enjoy the show. Welcome back to another Talaera Bit. My name is Simon. And wherever you are, I hope you're doing well. This is exciting. This is my first Talaera Bit of 2022. Crazy how time flies, but here we are in January. Today, I want to talk about something where it's just a short small tip, but something that I've been thinking about recently, as you know, getting into the new year, one of my, I guess, personal themes, or something that I'm really trying to work on is, you know, being able to trust yourself in situations and disagree if you think something is wrong, and really kind of speak up in a situation. And that's tough for everybody, but especially to do in your second language. So today, I want to talk a little bit, just very quickly about how we can do that in a respectful way, in a way to where you kind of remove yourself from the the ego of it, the kind of emotion of it and make it a little bit easier for yourself. So the first thing to think about is that it's you know, disagreement is important in the work context. You know, disagreement doesn't mean that we're not getting along. It's important, right? And we talked about this a little bit in a previous episode where we talked about how to say no in different cultures. So if you're interested in that topic, I would recommend checking that episode out. But yes, it's interest, it's important to disagree. That's typically what's going to lead to more ideas being shared, and you know, kind of get that innovation flowing in a team hopefully. The second is to think about that objectivity is key. So we've talked about this a lot, using facts and numbers, as well, we don't want to make it personal. So that's staying away from you know, facts, like you're wrong, or I think you're wrong. And instead, focus on what's being said, what you're saying is wrong, or what I think what you're saying is wrong, because so keeping the kind of personal aspect out of it. And then the other point is, you know, knowing when to let it go and say, you know, let's just agree to disagree, which is a great phrase to say, Okay, let's just put this on pause for now and come back to it. So we don't always need to find the solution right? Now, sometimes you just need to agree to disagree. So what are some phrases that we can use to politely disagree and do that in a professional way? And I'm just going to give a couple today, we're going to start with kind of three statements here. From someone and let's just say I'm disagreeing with someone. I'm disagreeing with you. I don't, you know, think what you're saying is right. And we're trying to make changes before an important deadline, you're you want to make these big changes, and I don't I think we should make the you know, keep keep the the project the way it is, and not make them so not make these changes, so close to the deadline. So here are three different statements. I could say number one, I could say, you know, you're only making things harder for everyone else by trying to make these changes. Okay, so that's a that's a bit forward a bit harsh. It could be true, right? But it is a bit forward. A second one, I could say, I see where you're coming from, but I'm concerned, we might be getting too close to the deadline for major changes. Okay, so that is a little bit I think it's a little bit better. But I hear a lot from students is their key of what they know is real and not real. What they say is, oh, everything watch for the but when you hear the but in a sentence, then you know everything before that is just them trying to be nice, right? So that can also lead to some Yeah, to some issues of that as well what the other person thinks. Then you could also try this one. I see where you're coming from. My concern is that we might be getting too close to the deadline to make these major changes. Okay, so the difference here between those second two is I'm just removing the but and making it its own center. And then giving it a pause to kind of let that sit in. Instead of I see where you're coming from. But my concern is, it's, I see where you're coming from, you know, my concern is that we might be getting too close to the deadline. So that's giving that first statement, the kind of the respect it deserves, right? Instead of, I see where you're coming from. But now you can use this in a lot of different ways. You might see these, you know, professional ways to disagree, as I see what you're saying, but I understand where you're coming from. But that's a valid point. But a lot of times what we hear is everything before, but is, you know, just being polite, or doesn't really matter. So a good tip for today is just to remove the but let it stay as its own sentence, and then continue. You know, I understand where you're coming from. My concern is that we might be getting too close to the deadline for these major changes. On slides, two, four, and five, you know, we we spent about two weeks on those. So that's going to really make things difficult. So there, I'm making it very clear that I respect that opinion. I understand where you're coming from. And that's just a statement, not I understand where you're coming from, but, and then I use Yes, objective slides to four and five, slides two, three, and five, whatever you want to do, right. But using it objective and bringing numbers into it, we used two weeks on those. And that's going to make it so that you're disagreeing objectively, and there's not so much emotion in it. And as well, the other person feels listened to because it wasn't just a that's a valid point, BUT... Instead it was that's a valid point. My concern is that, that that that. So I hope that you can take this, again, like we talked about in all the other episodes, take it, apply it, practice it a little bit, leave out the bud, right. It's a very easy habit. But when we're trying to respectfully disagree, it's a good way to kind of show the other person that we respect what they're saying, and that we want to at the same time, bring in our own point, as well check out that other podcast episode that we talked that I talked about, about, you know, understanding how to say no in different cultures and how culture impacts this as well. Right. So here we're talking on a real interpersonal level. But it's also important to remember the culture aspect. So that is it for today. I hope wherever you are, you're doing well, you're having a great start to your year. And, as always, keep learning. And that's all we have for you today. We hope you enjoyed it. Remember to subscribe to Talaera Talks. We'll be back soon with more. And visit our website at talaera.com for more valuable content on business English. You can also request a free consultation on the best ways for you and your team to improve your communication skills. So have a great day and keep learning!