This week’s principle me of the phrase my kindergarten teacher would say, “Treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
When the boys on the playground told me and my friends we were stupid or silly, my teacher crouched down, pointed her finger in the boys’ faces and said, “Would you want someone to call you stupid?” Then the boys would mutter “No,” as they ran off giggling. This idea underlies the principle for this week: the only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
The steps listed rely on the foundational idea to treat others the way we want to be treated. Respond to others with respect. Listen. Value what they have to say. When I think about how I want to be treated, it puts into perspective how I need to respond to the others.
While reading and annotating this week’s chapter, I pictured a photographer sitting down with a potential client. The client could be a bride, a few leaders in an organization, a couple, a real estate agent, or whoever. The client approaches us with this idea of how the project should unfold. And as photographers, we bring a different perspective.
While the organization casts a vision of what type of story they want in the photograph, the photograph casts a vision on how to execute this. We both want the same thing, but we may have different ways we go about this. The steps listed below I believe are great guidelines to consider when a disagreement starts to bubble to the surface and how to keep it from boiling into an argument.
1. Welcome Disagreement.
2. Distrust your first instinctive impression. Don’t get defensive.
3. Control your temper.
4. Listen first.
5. Look for areas of agreement.
6. Be honest and look for areas where you can admit your error.
7. Promise to think over your opponent’s ideas and study them.
8. Thank them for their interest. If they disagree with you it is because they are interested in the same things you are.
9. Postpone action to think.
I would love to hear how you all handle disagreements! Any other thoughts or suggestions?