Target Agreement in Disagreeable Settings

While current leaders literally wired their brains for gridlock and compromise that’s poisoning this country, it’s also true that disagreements can  blast open  doors to life-changing ethical insights,  when people differ with the brain in mind. How so?

If you’ve ever benefited from unique insights, you’ve likely also seen opposing viewpoints from high-performance minds,  that beg to differ. So why then, do disagreements also break up relations, terminate projects, shut down brilliant people, promote racism, and even ignite wars?

To  disagree well, is also  to lead well, and they both have more to do with how human brains prosper,  than you may realize.  In brain based settings, disagreement avoids clashes on the one hand, and offers amazing new zest for genius, on the other. How so?

Rather than take potshots at people, consider disagreements as tools to build goodwill across differences:

1. Learn from facts in the opposite viewpoint: Look for and engage people on opposite sides of controversial issues, and watch facts fly from new angles to extend winning results. The other side of war is peace, for instance, and its tactics are taught by brilliant minds sometimes silenced, for a one-side-only approach to conflict.

2. Solve complex problems with diverse thinkers. You’ll be surprised how many hidden and unused parts of the brain spring alive, when people dig for solutions across genders, cultures, beliefs and background experiences.

3. Draw on multiple intelligences for fresh ideas. Each human brain comes equipped with at least 8 intelligences, that offer innate tools for drawing solutions from alternative pools. Disagreements can kick-start progressive pathways past ruts or routines, that otherwise barricade progress. Have you seen it happen?

4. Surprise others by improving your own approaches. Serotonin chemicals for goodwill literally spread to energize others’ minds, whenever you create changes that genuinely improve their situation.  Change, grow, improve some area of your own work, and watch others progress in response. Let others know what they taught you along the way to keep serotonin growth alive though.

5. Anticipate angry responses that differences often bring. For many people who operate in one-way-only-steps, their brains’ chemical and electrical activity turn toxic when confronted with serious differences. Add to this the related cortisol rush confrontations surge to the brain, and you heat tempers and sharpen barbs in a heartbeat. Those who prepare ahead, tend to come with strategies that engage people meaningfully, before face offs from different views hit the fans.

6. Affirm each person’s genuine contributions. You increase lively mental tone, and open spigots to creativity for far more innovative possibilities,  when you welcome common ground at first.  Praise what already works well, before you hammer out the differences, and watch solutions fly.

7. Risk the ambiguity that favors unity over uniformity. Uniformity with its rigid one-size-fits-all approach differs from unity, which mixes in differences to create a new soup altogether. Unity flavors differences with spices people create and celebrate together. It takes ongoing risk to polish innovative products that stem from differences.  Continually test results,   risk constant tweaking, and watch differences increase wealth and build caring communities.

8. Toss in good tone and teach less experienced leaders. Tone’s a skill that all can learn, yet at times it’s practiced only by few. It’s found in genuine questions that shatter silences that hold back healthy merges. The opposite of anger’s shut downs, good tone opens mental acumen through apologies whenever darts are fired, and laughter to shake off personal offenses. It promotes success through the strengths found in differences at work.

9. Leverage curiosity and expect brilliance from mistakes reworked. Watch any genius  work and you’ll also see hope and courage that fired Emerson to say: In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts. Mistake bring differences together for another go at transformed minds. Choose to be curious and the very act rewires your brain for collaborative works of genius. Has it happened in your circles?

10. Stick a neuron in your head and laugh. Find humor in yourself, your quirks, your previous biases, your false starts – and watch new neuron pathways form across differences. Paths toward complex projects, suddenly emerge from refreshing insights and a growing need for alternative perspectives. Do new neuron pathways enrich your journey with those who look, think, and act differently from you?

Each of the brain based tools here capitalize on differences, and depend on disagreements, to release new  brainpower. Similarly, each one can open spaces to expand ideas, gravitate to brighter futures, and unify people who build wealth from including differences, and benefiting from disagreements.

How many top disagreement tools do you use at the peaks? One? Ten? Could differences, expressed in well articulated disagreements – rewire your brain and reboot your circles in the coming week?

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  1. Wonderful advice, Ellen!

    Turning our disagreements into opportunities for learning and growth (in all the ways you’ve mentioned above) can make such a positive difference in our lives! While it can indeed be tough to consistently put these principles into practice, it definitely yields wonderful rewards–which is one reason I’m trying to become better at it!

    Thanks for sharing these insights!

  2. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Jeanne! You build a great case for looking at how the brain cooks up improved practice from cutting edge research here also. It’s so true that it’s tough to be consistent – I too have sure found that to be so.

    Yet- one cool fact about the brain is on our side:-) Whenever you act on these or other research insights, the human brain rewires its resilient plasticity for more of the same:-)

    Sounds like a fair deal and a motivator to me:-) You?

  3. […] you see why you may react negatively when under the influence of harmful chemical […]

  4. Yes indeed! After all, the only thing we have to do to develop a habit is repeat the same action a sufficient number of times — which I assume has something to do with the brain’s gradually increasing plasticity as we consistently alter our old behavioral patterns.

  5. eweber says:

    It is just that way, Jeanne, but it’s kind of cool how it impacts the physical as much as we are learning it does.

    The repeat part is a bit scary in that it can rather easily nudge us into ruts — which makes a bit of a vicious cycle. It’s kind of fun to have an awareness of it all though — and it makes a difference to how we move forward:-)

  6. It’s certainly true that there are good and bad habits–and in that sense, it is kind of scary, since it’s so easy to fall into the bad ones. But, isn’t it wonderful to know that it’s every bit as possible to develop good habits as bad ones when we make the choice to do it and put in the required effort? I tend to think of a negative habit as a rut but a good, positive, healthy habit as a catalyst for new and better things.

  7. […] negative, or moody feelings.  If feeling fearful or if you are embarrassed, for instance, try disagreeing more with the brain in mind. In this way, the very act of using a skill to disagree well, begins to rewire your brain for […]

  8. […] Disagreement becomes an art to draw together differences, whenever tone acts as a mixer. 2. Stress is disabled […]

  9. […] through actions that engage opposing views on controversial topics. People who learn the art and science of disagreement tend to ask, “What if…?” and engage tools such as brainstorming, listening, […]

  10. […] all who differ from you in basic values, and let them know your opinions without being tainted by approaches on the other side, for minds that end up poorer with each […]

  11. […] for people who learn to cultivate its benefits. This miracle drug fuels tone that allows people to disagree without attacking the person who offers a different perspective. Its opposite cortisol chemicals, may closes out […]

  12. […] while few do it well, those who listen and learn from others tend to transform their circles. They disagree with amazing tone skills and in so doing,  inspire others to express novel ideas that may otherwise never […]

  13. […] I’d like to see attack ads transformed into support for more diverse ideas, openly […]

  14. […] you believe that your family can do better when disagreements hit, and you hold even a microscopic hosting skill, invite them all to a party at your home. See how […]

  15. […] so that people speak and feel heard in his presence. While many leaders bolt from conflict, Obama facilitates disagreements in mind-bending ways that open doors to life-changing insights […]

  16. […] could adults learn the tone to differ with the brain in mind, and work more together for teens’ […]

  17. […] your tone, or get ready for a fight that often leads nowhere the next time a disagreement arises! Have you noticed how highly successful people use  tone to advance their lives and communities? […]

  18. […] good tone on a daily basis – in ways that inspire others to emphasize points they agree on, to disagree with respect, and to value differences as a learning opportunity for both sides to find common ground. Tone that […]

  19. […] moves you and others forward toward mind-bending solutions. Tone tools work especially well because tone builds goodwill, and can lead to consensus among those who […]

  20. […] really on their mind? The opposite of meta-messages, tone that communicates sincerity can build goodwill even among people who disagree. Do you observe more tone or […]

  21. I found this post while doing a Web search of disagreement in innovation. Love your tips! I shared them in my blog (Aren’t the multiple intelligences great?). Looking forward to reading your blog more!

    – Kathie Thomas

    Kathie Thomass last blog post..Engage Your Employees Today for Success Tomorrow

  22. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Kathie. It’s fun to find such cool leaders out there who are tackling similar topics in different ways! Yes! My MITA model engages MI but gets measurable motivation and achievement through brain based approaches:-)

  23. […] Disagree with the brain in mind. Tone is one of your best disagreement brainpower tools. It helps you to avoid clashes in the first place, or at least to build goodwill across differences […]

  24. […] only suffices, and poor facilitaors rarely possess skills to draw tangibly from diverse groups when disagreement strikes. So they destribute memos telling people what to expect, and rarely solicit feedback that asks what […]

  25. […] expect what others fail to deliver. Brain based tactic – Have you noticed though how people who  build goodwill with others tend to divert disagreements? In so doing, they lift morale and spread serotonin at […]

  26. […] also a way to draw more from differences and to hear from voices too often silenced by disagreements and conflicting ideas. If, you’ve attended brainstorming sessions that value other cultures, genders, backgrounds […]

  27. […] do you transform tension into tactics that respect and benefit from […]

  28. […] the same way mental skills, with every use, rewire human brains to  target agreement in disagreeable settings. Nor are they easily moved toward peaceful resolutions, since it takes brainpower skills to move […]

  29. […] To invoke brilliant solutions from diverse angles is also to build goodwill with those who disagree. […]

  30. […] 4. No Brain Left Behind: avoids broken education routines that anger faculty, abuse learners, or feed off cynics who fuel flame wars rather than engage opposing views. […]

  31. […] with respect, and to construct improved realities across one another’s differences. What builds innovative consensus where you […]

  32. […] Refuse even to argue with yourself about the fact that a hurtful  person may be trying to improve, and instead snip your amygdala from their actions that add sadness or worry. Remember, it’s not about another person, whom you cannot change. Instead it’s about regaining your sense of inner wellness, so that you can speak and act with respect even to those who disagree. […]

  33. […] and lead with their highest values, as it unifies a community through strategies of excellence. It builds goodwill applied with simplicity, humility and […]

  34. […] to Reboot your Brain Smart skill 13 = Target Working Memory to Learn New Skills Smart skill 14 = Target Agreement in Disagreeable Settings Smart skill 15 = Target Lessons from Opposing Views Smart skill 16 = Target Multiple Intelligences […]

  35. […] by snipping your amygdala before it snipes back under pressure, also lead to resolutions that help win, even around those who disagree. It’s simply how you brain parts either promote or stomp out […]

  36. denji says:

    This blog is nice to read.Only fewer bloggers write this way. I like it, I hope to see more post from you. Thank you!!!

  37. […] creates space for diversity to get valued in the Block’s […]

  38. […] spite of knowing how to target agreement in disagreeable settings, you lose it it and blast a novice for a minor […]

  39. linda jackson says:

    when you have disagreeable setting, it opens up new doors for thinking, as far as it being spontanious and new to the brain in that moment, it can help you to think quicker. it also will give new insight to others thoughts, and you may learn something wheather you agreee or not.

  40. linda jackson says:

    everybody has a right to there own opinons of course, but not all people feel that others opinions are right, just theirs. in order to keep the peace with a person like this i believe you have to build a relationship with this person, it does not have to be personel, just an understanding of their personality, and making exceptions and maybe sacrifice, not big ones, just being honest not hostle may workl.

  41. linda jackson says:

    when engaging in a hot conversation, people will always have different opinions. in order to build goodwill in the conversation everyone should think of how they would feel if someone disagrees with them and accept their opinion or idea.

  42. […] draws together differences to help people  find common ground in controversial issues. Check out tone tips to disagree at your next meeting. In contrast, see subtle barbs from dissenters who  lack tools to […]

  43. This is the reason that successful projects require diversity of thought, race, gender and culture.

    I come from a multicultural and multicultural background. I find that our very definition of diversity is changing. As the workforce is becoming more global with ease of immigration, this adds a different layer of diversity to help create even better ideas.



  44. […] who differ.  Even those who come with crankier tone. Ignore cortisol levels, though, and expect to react rudely whenever  harmful hormones surge during […]

  45. ben says:

    Thanks for this educational post.

  46. […] together differences when you help people to face tough or controversial issues. Whenever you apply tone to disagree you can brace your brain from subtle barbs some folks toss into the ring when you least expect […]

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