Ever butt heads with someone during a professional conversation? Think about it. You have an opinion, another person has an opinion, you’re both passionate about your opinions. Out of passion, you may find yourself getting defensive, or even aggressive towards the other person, and vice-versa.
As Director of Business Development @ redpepper, I am surrounded by right-brained creative people. Myself, I’m a split: 50% left brain, 50% right brained. When it comes to business, I tend to lead with my left brain. I have found myself getting into trouble by being head-strong and eco-driven in internal business conversations. Most recently, I’ve learned to have a “healthy” debate and learn to appreciate another person’s opinion. I’ve found, if you put your ego aside and truly take interest in why this person feels the way they do, you will prosper.
Here are 8 tips on how to have a constructive debate:
1. Focus on the other person; seek to understand their view-point.
2. Remember it’s essential to understand, but it is not essential to agree.
3. Implement a 5 second rule. Wait 5 seconds to respond after other person stops talking. (Generally, they will continue to speak when you pause)
4. Assume innocence. Play dumb.
5. Ask why.
6. And for the greater good- PUT YOUR EGO ASIDE. Practice humility.
7. Express opinions as long as they are your own, but stay factual, and give examples.
8. Focus on the end result. Too many times people forget why they’re there in the first place.