“We find comfort among those who agree with us – growth among those who don’t.”~Frank A. Clark
Life seems a lot simpler when everyone agrees, right? Things move a lot faster, decisions get made a lot quicker, and everyone’s happy. When others agree with our opinions, love our ideas, and see the world as we do, it’s validating and it feels good.
However, if I think back to the times when I learned the most, did my best, and went the farthest, they were very often moments when my colleagues, friends, or clients disagreed with me or had a differing point of view. Where they saw my approach, idea, or opinion as mostly or completely wrong. I’ve learned that deepened perspective and understanding, as well as incredible growth, can come from truly hearing and incorporating contrary opinions, or a subtle or even blatant deviation from what we know as “true.”
The challenge is, of course, to realize the value of these different opinions so that we can be open to them, no matter how difficult or even painful that may be. To help ourselves to listen to disagreement, and to even invite it. To ask for it. Therein lies the heart of the matter.
The easiest way to gain this openness is to ask yourself the following questions, to challenge yourself: Where might I be wrong here? What have I missed (or potentially missed)? What have I not taken into consideration? These simple questions, combined with a true willingness to hear the answers, no matter how tough that might be, yield great results and the most growth.
Invite disagreement, especially when you’re most sure. Ask the hard questions and truly listen to the answers.
Where might you be wrong? What might you have missed? How can this disagreement help you? How do you use these questions – and more?
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