Does “Disagreement” lead to “Disrespect”?

We often come across subordinates and team members who voice their disagreement with our views. When someone disagrees with us for the first time, it shocks us for a while. A mature leader would take it in his stride and respect the difference of opinion while some of us might feel offended.

If it is a dissent in front of other team members, it might hurt a bit more but it is essential to understand that dissent doesn’t mean animosity.

The genesis of this feeling is found in our culture where obedience without reason has been considered a virtue for ages. Our elders always appreciated and expected complete obedience and regarded disagreement as a sign of disrespect.

My daughter was arguing ferociously with me yesterday when I lost my cool saying “How can you talk to me like this?” “I cannot argue submissively, Can I?, she shot back.

Exasperation in her teenage mind translated into her loud words.

It sat me thinking that our heart brands it as disrespect what our mind knows is disagreement.

Though it is essential to have the right tone and appropriate body language while disagreeing, we as parents and leaders must also not equate a difference of opinion with lack of respect.

  • Listen and Reflect – As parents and Leaders, we should train our mouths to function after our ears and brains have processed the communication – verbal as well as non verbal.

If we take our time in reacting to any disagreement, we will be able to think it through and frame our response accordingly.

  • Learn to laugh at yourself – If you are known by your team and children as a person who can handle dissent, they will be honest with you and you will earn respect in the long run. Developing the ability to laugh at oneself makes us confident and adaptable.

I will keep my vulnerable heart in check the next time my daughter decides to argue with me.