While negotiating a major agreement, I kept hearing, “I don’t disagree”. I heard the words, but did I grasp the meaning?
Rationally it means “I agree”.
Deep in the meeting, she repeated it. I paused and asked, “when you say I don’t disagree, does that mean you agree?”
She squirmed, “No, not exactly.” I asked, “So, what did you mean by I don’t disagree?” She hesitantly said, “I said, I don’t disagree to avoid stalling the discussion.” Wow, what honesty. She was telling me that the end result was more important than the minutiae. She coyly deflected her opinion, so my ego didn’t obstruct a win-win.
As I reflect, “I don’t disagree” is a clever way to keep the dialogue moving until both parties are happy. While “I disagree” would likely entrench both sides or stop negotiations altogether.
When negotiating emotional issues, it may be wise to say “I don’t disagree” (even if you disagree with the other person) to avoid a stalemate.
The agreement was settled, and I believe both parties are happy. I am grateful for my partner’s negotiating dexterity.
While I think we should say what we mean and mean what we say, I have learned that sometimes wily diplomacy is far more effective than brutal candor.
I hear you saying, “I don’t disagree.” Smartass.
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Don’t Just Manage Lead!
In Don’t Just Manage—Lead! you’ll learn what it takes to become an effective leader, someone who will help guide and motivate others to achieve success. Art F. Coombs, the Utah based author and CEO, provides the most comprehensive and authoritative account of a true leader’s life and career. Loaded with heartfelt, real life experiences of what it takes to lead thousands of employees, Coombs presents his journey from business student to corporate CEO. With these real-world examples, he shows how true leaders can influence behavior, shape goals, and encourage the very best from others.Buy Now
Today, the world needs human connection more than ever. It needs people who strive for deeper relationships, not just surface recognition, who come at life with the enthusiasm, energy, and excitement that bind people together. These people have a powerful impact on all around them. Leadership guru Art Coombs combines fresh perspectives, profound experience, engaging information, and unforgettable stories into a simple formula that will result in rich connections as you live, laugh, learn, love, and lead those who mean the most to you. Begin today to live the authentic, abundant life you were meant to as you build and shape the connections that change everything.Buy Now
Art has also served as executive vice president of business development and strategic initiatives for First-Source; CEO and founder of Echopass Corporation (the world’s premier contact center hosting environment, which was acquired by Genesys for about $110 million); CEO of Sento Corporation; and managing director and VP of European business development for Sykes Enterprises.
Art is a widely-published author of methodologies for BPO/contact centers, outsourcing, customer service, and technical support, and has served in leadership positions at Hewlett-Packard, VLSI Research, and RasterOps.