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While it would be nice for everyone to get along all of the time, the reality is that even at work, disagreements happen. It's how you deal with them that matters, ensuring that they don't get out of hand and turn into full-blown arguments. Over 80% of Australian professionals have experienced workplace conflict of this kind, so it's something you're likely to encounter sooner or later. 

Is It Good To Openly Disagree With People At Work?

Of course. You need to be able to use your interpersonal skills in such a way that you don't ruffle too many feathers during disagreements. However, that doesn't mean you should just roll over and play dead - far from it. Challenging discussions are an essential part of everyday teamwork, highlighting factors that might otherwise be missed. 

How Do You Handle Conflict And Disagreements With Colleagues?

A disagreement in the workplace can happen amid meetings or during the normal course of your everyday duties. As such, when working on your personal development, you have to learn how to disagree in order to maintain a positive atmosphere respectfully. Here are a few ways you can ensure that happens.

Stick To Being Respectful At Work

As online learning in conflict management shows, if an argument starts to become heated, it might be time to take a moment to let things calm down. That's because respect and professionalism can’t be cast aside in the name of winning an argument. Even if the person you disagree with starts to lose their professionalism, it’s vital that you don’t - so count to 10 or turn the other cheek if you need to do. 

Choose Your Battles Wisely At Work 

If you want to be known as a difficult team member, the best way to go about it is to disagree about everything. Do it too often, and your co-workers are likely to think, “here they go again!” and assume you're arguing simply for the sake of it. Instead, pick your battles wisely and focus on areas of your work that truly matter and need discussion. 

Keep Personal Matters Out Of It 

The moment you include anything personal in disagreements, the chances of things escalating to conflict go up dramatically. You have to keep things work-related, as emotions can become elevated when you're talking about personal matters. Base what you say during a disagreement on facts that strictly relate to the task or subject to ensure the conversation remains professional. 

Demonstrate Active Listening With Your Team

Active listening is one of those interpersonal skills that can help to diffuse any conflict situation, as it allows people to feel listened to. This involves giving the other person sufficient time to express themselves before you jump in and interject. When people feel heard, they tend to calm down - which is better for you, better for them, and better for the company you work for. 

Don't Speak For Others Disrespectfully 

When having a civil discussion, something that can cause friction is attempting to speak for someone else by saying something like, “Everyone knows you’re doing it wrong!”. You can only speak for yourself, and trying to put words in other people’s mouths will only damage your credibility and cause further problems with people who perhaps don't like you quoting them. 

Compromise If You Need To Within The Workplace 

From time to time, you’ll encounter an issue that’s not black and white, meaning that you might both be right or that there’s a stalemate. On these occasions, there’s no reason why you can’t compromise in order to reach a general agreement. Compromise is another of the interpersonal skills you’ll need to be a  modern professional for this very reason.

Boost Your Personal Development With OCA Online Learning

Being able to respectfully disagree with something you’ll need to master if you want success in the professional world. The good news is that working on them is easier than ever, thanks to our video-based CPD-Endorsed short courses online like our Conflict Management course

Offering a next-level learning experience, the content we offer is created in collaboration with top industry experts and transcends text-based courses. Watch our Student Study Demo to see exactly what we’re talking about and what sets us apart from our competition. 

To find out more about us, our flexible payment options, or our full course library that covers over 20 different sectors, visit us today at There you’ll also discover that all of our courses come with 1-to-1 mentoring to ensure your journey is a smooth one.

Alternatively, call 1300 611 404 or email [email protected] to have any questions you might have answered. The moment we receive your inquiry, we’ll strive to reply as quickly as we can.

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