Have you ever had an argument? Have you ever had an opinion the complete opposite of a close friend or family member?
While a few may have to think back to remember a time, the majority are thinking currently. No time like the present!
Before sharing the most important thing to remember in a disagreement, I want to share some current examples you may be experiencing or have experienced.
I have friends and family on opposite sides of the political arena. I have one friend that cannot even fathom that a Democrat could ever do wrong. I have other friends that strongly support the Republican Party. I have some friends and family members that will only associate with people in their respective parties!
If you’re like me, regardless of your own position, you associate with some people that think the virus is no more than a political ploy, no worse than the flu. While others are afraid to come out of their homes for fear of catching the virus.
Depending on which side of the fence people are on, impacts their belief in whether wearing a mask is necessary or not. Some think not wearing a mask is being selfish. Others think if people are so afraid, they should stay home. Some think the mask is beneficial while others view it as a false sense of security.
Leaders in business can be on opposite sides in the decision-making process. As businesses struggle, one leader may want to initiate layoffs, while another may want everyone to take a pay cut. Some may want to curb expenses, while others may want to increase marketing.
Being on the opposite side of situations and circumstances aren’t limited to current news events. Spouses may differ on the raising of children. Parents and children will differ on many things from bedtime to which college to attend.
As you think back on past disagreements, as well as current ones, the most important thing to remember is the relationship is more important than the disagreement.
The quality of your life is equal to the quality of your relationships. Looking at the few examples above, it is easy to concur, we will not agree with everyone on everything. Unless you want to live a lonely life, full of struggles, it’s important to develop relationships with others. Yes, even those that don’t agree with you on everything.
In almost every “good” relationship, individuals provide us with 80% of what we are looking for. Problems begin when we shift our focus to the missing 20%. If we begin to complain about the 20%, especially if the individuals never had the 20% in the first place, relationships will deteriorate, some beyond repair.
Relationships have the potential to outlast any disagreement. Maybe your child chooses a college you don’t like or chooses not to go to college. While this can be a disappointment, after graduation, or success in a chosen field, the relationship will continue. However, if you choose the situation over the relationship, your child could sever ties.
Deciding to have pay cuts across the board or to lay employees off can be rectified as the economy turns around. However, if you choose the circumstance over the relationship, you could lose a business partner for life.
Whatever you are disagreeing with your spouse over, it is likely time sensitive. Meaning, it too shall pass, unless, you choose the situation over the relationship.
Whatever your disagreement, whoever you are disagreeing with, think long and hard about the situation. Is winning an argument or being right worth losing someone long-term? Even in the short-term, thinking about your significant other, is it better to be right and spend the night on the couch? Or is it better to swallow your pride and maintain a healthy, happy relationship?
These same questions can be used in other environments. Is it worth losing a good teammate over an argument? Will you quit speaking to a family member over a debate?
It’s common knowledge that people will forget what you say to them, but they will not forget how you made them feel. Therefore, you should prioritize the relationship over the situation. For example, if you must lay an employee off. The layoff is no fault of the employee. The employee has performed well. Some employers will watch the employee pack up personal belongings and escort the employee off the premises. This is putting the situation before the relationship. You are making a good employee feel untrustworthy. The employee will remember this much longer than anything positive that happened during the employment period.
This former employee may one day own a business or be in a position of authority. As we know, circumstances change, “what goes around comes around.” If you’re looking for a job, do you want the employee to remember how you performed the walk of shame, or how you treated the employee with dignity and made the relationship more important than the situation?
Take time today to reach out to those you are having conflict with and let them know you care more about them that the conflicts. You’ll be glad you did and so will they!
“One day, we’ll look back on this and laugh.” Why wait?
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Published by Bryan M. Balch, Results Coach
Helping Individuals and Businesses Achieve Desired Results