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Article – Arguing Intelligently via BrainPickings

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We have all faced difficult situations within the workplace and wrestled how best to approach a discussion without appearing confrontational or causing offence, especially when it comes to disagreeing with a superior.

In this article by Maria Popova via BrainPickings, the author walks us through how to best compose an intelligent argument that will ideally keep you out of hot water with your boss:

  1. Clarify the other parties position back to them vividly and fairly
  2. List points of agreement
  3. Mention anything you’ve learned from the other party

Only after each of these steps have been followed should you commence your rebuttal, criticism or argument with the other party.

Read the article and reflect on the following:

  • Is it important to approach disagreement with tact and diplomacy?
  • Are we too concerned with ‘sugar coating’ or skirting around difficult conversations – should we be more direct? Does this link to resilience in any way?
  • What techniques would you use if you had to express your disagreement with a senior member of the Chain of Command?

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