I tend to avoid political talk on social media like the plague, except within a couple of very small circles of friends where we have the ability to debate, share ideas, agree where we do, and disagree where we do, in an atmosphere of mutual respect – very rare!
And when I DO get involved, I am careful to engage, not enrage.
That said, I discuss politics plenty offline, like when I’m at the cigar shop. I was a Political Science major in college – it’s my thing!
In debates, the line gets crossed when someone demands I take a position, having presented a string of facts not in dispute about the President, a political figure, a candidate, or a policy:
“With everything I’ve just told you, do you agree that he/she is a bad person and this proposal is bad for our country?”
I won’t do it.
I feel uncomfortable in doing so, even if I see their point, and even if they’ve caused me to consider amending my earlier assertions.
In fact, I’ll likely counter with my reasons, based on MY truth, why I strongly disagree.
The deal-breakers are:
- They are now demanding I renounce MY truth in doing so
- They haven’t taken the time to discover what MY truth is and position their point of view as a potentially better way to move forward, in alignment with MY truth.
Listen: we love it when others see things the same way we do.
As much as we enjoy a friendly but spirited roll-up-your-sleeves debate with others who feel differently, we love even more when they see it from our point of view – amirite?
Two of the most powerful words you can include in your e-mail, sales copy, and your everyday conversation are
- I agree that the longer you wait to invest in yourself, the more you’re just postponing the results that you know will get you everything you’ve always wanted in business and life.
- I agree that we have some big problems in our country that just aren’t getting solved.
- I agree: trying to go it alone will make your journey that much more difficult, than if you have someone standing by your side.
- Now, I agree it is important to check things out fully before you make a great decision.
- I agree, it shows that news is ‘made’, rather than it just ‘happening’ naturally.
- I agree, it’s important to learn and understand this.
- I agree that fostering effective communication in the workplace will get more things done.
See what’s happening here?
We’re making statements that most people would agree with.
By stating our own agreement upfront, we’re building common ground.
Walking together confidently on common ground, we will reach the right decision together.
It’s a powerful neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) principle.
Again, By Doing So We’re Avoiding The “Don’t You Agree?” Trap.
By asking this question, “don’t you agree”, you’re inviting the other person to disagree.
If they say “no, I don’t agree” – now what?
Some folks will disagree just to see what you’ve really got.
All this does is prolong the process.
I agree, it’s easier to find common ground quickly, and stand on it.
This Is Also A Handy Way To Connect With The “Other Side”.
Combine the “I agree” principle with a follow-up question, and now you have a powerful, One-Two introduction for your own point of view:
I agree, these sorts of issues can be very problematic if they go unheeded and unaddressed.
I can definitely see what you mean there.
Just one question, if I may: (then introduce your counterpoint as a question asked from a place of genuine curiosity)
Wow. Not bad, eh?
But don’t overdo it or “mark” it too heavily, or they might not… agree.
They might not even like you.
That said, if you like this post, maybe, just maybe, you like me too.