In a past blog post, I shared a Success Shortie on how to disagree diplomatically. I talked about two commonly used and often destructive strategies for disagreeing with someone in a conversation, and suggested one to replaced them:
- STOP: Disagree and Dismiss
- STOP: Agree and Counter
- START: Acknowledge and Add
It’s obvious why flat out disagreeing can be a bad transition into getting your idea across. It doesn’t always feel good to have someone disagree with you, and they might not be very open to hearing what you have to say afterwards.
But what is wrong with agreeing with someone? Nothing, if you agree with EVERYTHING which we rarely do. To ensure what you want to add isn’t lost, be careful with the phrase, “I agree” especially at the start of a sentence.
In this week’s Success Shortie I share a word of caution about how you agree with something someone said.
When you start a sentence with, “I agree…” it doesn’t matter what comes after it. The person speaking heard you say that you agree, which one would assume applies to everything that they just said, and they are often busy mentally congratulating themselves and not listening to anything you are adding to the conversation.
It just takes a minor tweak in language to avoid this confusion. Watch my Success Shortie: A Word of Caution on Agreeing for some examples of how to nail down the acknowledge and add technique.