I am consistently impressed by the professionalism and compassion demonstrated by the founders and contributors of Taro. Consequently, I find this forum to be the ideal place to seek advice on this matter.
Occasionally, while collaborating with others, I get myself into a disagreement and becoming frustrated with my own behavior. Regardless of who is at fault, I would greatly appreciate any guidance on how to cultivate compassion and maintain professionalism in situations where personal or professional differences may cause tension. How can one effectively navigate such scenarios without allowing these differences to become an obstacle?
This is a fantastic question! I have a few thoughts:
First, let me just start by saying I totally get where you're coming from. In my first job, I ended up having a time where my manager needed to get me and another coworker into a room because we were constantly not seeing eye-to-eye. And we needed to hash it out with him there. It was not a great time.
From that and other experiences, here's what I've learned:
Lastly, here's a copy-paste of the bullets I refer to when I get in a disagreement to help me stay level-headed.
If someone disagrees with you, the first instinct should not be to show why they are wrong but to understand why they disagree.
If you found my answer helpful, I'd sincerely appreciate a follow/connect on LinkedIn! I'm working on building up my network and would love your help. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordancutler1/
What's been shared here is huge so far. Having respect for others is great. There's also coworkers you can share frustrations with depending and see if there's something more cultural at play. Work with others to make sure that frustrations are addressed privately and bring them up in a public setting as needed for constructive use. I'm shifting into an area where there's a lot of discontent about process, but we started to detract/derail the conversation, so I pulled them aside and said let's handle it privately and bring in others moving forward as needed, so we don't spread the negativity too much. In your case though, a simple disagreement is usually just something easy to resolve, recurring likely meaning something cultural at play. I'm having to work on those as well to make sure that everyone else can work together. Nobody's at fault, sometimes policy, culture, or even different experiences have drastically different impacts on people's mental states and behaviors.
I love the empathy and thoughtfulness behind this question! First, I recommend the video I made in my Effective Communication series about this very topic: Effective Communication Guide [Part 4] - Resolving Disagreements
Jordan and Brad gave wonderful answers around upholding respect, doing deep listening, and striving to understand the other perspective. Adding on to those principles (which are 110% correct!), I actually have another tactic: Try to tear down your own argument. You can even turn it into a game:
By effectively playing Devil's Advocate against yourself, this will really force you to put yourself in the other person's shoes.
Another important concept here is to initially assume good intent:
Of course, it's possible that people don't have good intent. If you truly believe that most, if not all, people around you know that something is wrong, just don't care, and are hammering it through anyways, you probably need to find a better team 😛
All that being said, the most proactive thing to do with these heated situations is to prevent them from happening in the first place by having excellent rapport and trust with all your teammates. We gave an entire masterclass around how to do just that: [Masterclass] How To Build Deep Relationships Quickly In Tech