- Thoughts for inspired living

October 29, 2008

Where Do We Agree?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:42 am

Did you ever notice that most arguments are fueled by what we disagree about?

This practice runs the gamut from personal to political.

If our purpose in a pointed discussion is simply to be right, it will always be confrontational and about disagreement.

I believe that exploring agreement first, gives better odds to coming to a working solution. The conundrum is that this piece of common sense eludes us at the moment of opposition.

We are patterned to be right. To be wrong is the worst curse on the human ego, and it will fight into the night to be right. The Buffalo Springfield recorded a song called FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH and a portion of the lyrics illustrate how we line up for disagreement.

“What a field-day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side.”

The filter for agreement only seems to come into play after we have bloodied each other. I’m wondering if there is a way to shift that order and make agreement first in line and thereby reduce the amount of disagreeable in disagreement. With agreement as a foundation, there is a better chance of building something stable. With disagreement as a foundation, we’re more likely to build a fractured structure.

History suggests that the seeds of World War II were sown in the treaty signed after World War I. If you bully someone towards your position, the odds are high that they will display buyer’s remorse. It’s always better to get someone to buy in, and I believe the process starts with agreement.

The next time you find yourself on the other end of an issue from someone, have the presence of mind to ask yourself “Where do we agree?” I believe you will find agreement to be easier on the feathers and the quickest catalyst to consensus.

All the best,


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