What You Say When You Disagree
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
When you disagree, watch your words whether you’re responding in person or writing a letter. You want to avoid quarrelling if possible. Arguments yes. Quarrels no.
But you do want to make a point.
We here at Whatyousay are constantly on the lookout for effective ways to do just that. We’ve found that the political shows on TV are a rich source of material. The frequent visitors generally know how to handle themselves as do the best hosts. Not long ago we heard a good one on the “Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC.
Rachel’s guest was a high-powered politician who staked out his interpretation of some recently released polls. Rachel decided not to let it pass.
When he finished, Rachel replied: “I heard just the opposite,” and then went on to give her interpretation. The exchange of ideas that ensued was done in a friendly manner, and both parties staked out their positions.
Next time you disagree with someone’s interpretation of the news or data, try out Rachel’s rejoinder.: Say, “I heard just the opposite” and then tell what you heard or saw. It’s one of the better responses we know of to make a point in an argument.
It’s also useful if you’re writing a letter to the editor, responding to a blog post, or a business letter or memo. Begin by writing: “I see just the opposite.”
–Gene Griessman’s presentations on Abraham Lincoln are internationally known. His video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. To learn more, contact us at 404-256-5927 or email@example.com
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