Conflicts are rooted from differences and contrasting ideas between individuals. Disagreements are not naturally bad. In fact, it is normal and a natural part of life since no two individuals share the same viewpoints at all times. The person you are talking to may agree with you but you can never tell whether the agreement is just because that is what you want to hear, but not what the person actually believes in.
The occurrences of conflicts in meetings at work or in business can be unsettling and disruptive. It may cause delays in the decision making and resolution process. At times, the atmosphere in a meeting can become tense because individuals have differing personalities, ideas, and beliefs. These differences are factors from the arguments during meeting discussions. Arguments are a waste of time and get in the way toward an effective meeting process.
Keeping Arguments in Control
Disagreements are fine and normal in a discussion. If you think about it, the participant who disagrees with another person’s viewpoints is concerned about reaching a resolution that is beneficial for the group. When another individual rebuts the disagreement, an argument occurs. People argue because they want to defend personal beliefs about a subject matter. Expect this kind of situation in a meeting since participants vary in their personalities.
The main function of the meeting facilitator or leader in a session is to regulate the smooth flow of the meeting process with the aim of achieving the set objectives. An important part of the facilitator’s role is to keep any arguments from leading to uncontrollable conflicts. In order to manifest this, the meeting in-charge must see to it that no one starts using offensive language and raises the voice in an attempt to become annoyingly argumentative. The facilitator must find some truth to the stand of each party and identify a common ground for agreement in the two positions.
Listening to professionals lose control in their arguments is not very impressive. If the argument starts getting out of hand, the facilitator must put a halt to it immediately. If there is a need to end the meeting and put it off in the meantime, then the meeting leader can resort to that. The argument can also be deferred to be handled in the latter part of the meeting.
Tips to Avoid Arguments in Meetings
Meeting participants must learn the art of dealing with arguments during a session. Although the facilitator primarily supervises the situation, meeting attendees should also take part in keeping the discussion within a mature and professional level.
Active listening is very essential in an interaction. Really listen to what the other participants have to say about the subject matter. Minimize listening too much on personal beliefs. Instead, understand what the other person says and respond appropriately. Assumptions hinder active listening and can cause conflict. Ask questions to clarify rather than assume.
Having an established set of meeting rules help minimize arguments in a meeting. Your organization should have these rules implemented in every session. The facilitator can remind everyone of these ground rules before the meeting starts. It should be clear to all participants that any violation of the rules corresponds to a sanction.
The value of respect is often neglected and not manifested by everyone when it should be a basic of proper meeting etiquette. How do you demonstrate respect to other participants in a meeting? Simply avoid unnecessary interruption when someone else is speaking. Do not make personal attacks when you are mad at someone. Keep your use of words and language professional.
How to Disagree in a Diplomatic Manner
Participants must keep a sense of diplomacy when disagreeing with each other during meetings. In arguing opinions, make sure to reflect your understanding of the viewpoints of the other person. Always make the other person feel that even though you differ in opinions, you value the person as an individual who is entitled to his own opinions.
Then you can state your personal opinions whether you agree or disagree. Deliver your ideas in a manner that aims to interact comfortably and not like you wish to start a fight. The goal is to reach a compromise and move on with the meeting process after having settled arguments amicably.