How Do You Handle Different Opinions?

When we engage others with different view points it can be an opportunity for growth and understanding or it can create division and strife. This week we look at both the negative and the positive ways to handle different opinions.

What are some of the characteristics of people who can’t handle different opinions

  • Refuse to consider other points of view
  • Don’t like to be confronted with facts
  • Mockery
  • Discuss personalities, not facts or policies
  • Anger (not to be confused with passion)
  • Threats and intimidation (bullying)
  • Feelings of hatred towards an individual or group of people

What are some of the characteristics of people who can actively engage others with a different opinion

  • Listen for the purpose of understanding, not for responding. Seek to understand.
  • Respect the opinion of others, even if you don’t agree
  • Respect the person, even if you don’t like what they do
  • Engage in dialog – discuss facts and outcomes
  • Realize that matters are often very complex
  • Look for common ground – are the elements of their perspective that you could learn from
  • At the end of the day, you may have to agree to disagree, but still have mutual respect

We often hear the saying that “Diversity is our Strength” – but that can only be true if we are able to handle diverse opinions and grow from it.

This week’s Monday Motivation Challenge
  • How do you handle others with different opinions?
  • Looking at each of the points, how do you rate on the negative and positive side?
  • What can you do this week to engage in positive conversation?

Another good read on this topic is the National Post article by Leslyn Lewis – “A strong society must encourage, not limit, debate

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