Agree, Disagree or Agree to Disagree and move on
I often find myself in meetings, some for church, family, school, ministry, and some in my own head.
What about you? Do you find yourself in meetings?
I don’t think the nature of the meeting is the point with this subject matter. Many people come into meeting with their personal agendas, fears, thoughts, assumptions and even hurts from previous meetings.
I remember being in grade school being called into the principal’s office for a meeting… yeah, I was freaking out.
I was called on the phone and told to come into work for a meeting…. yeah, it was a long drive in and ended in losing a job.
I was invited into a meeting once… that resulted in a fun experience of helping people (my co-workers) learn problem solving skills.
I was in a meeting that was a waste of everyone’s time and in meetings that I never wanted to end.
I know many people teach, train and blog about meetings… how to run them, how to prepare for them, how to end them but one thing I generally think is missing is the skill to agree to disagree…
I know I want everyone to adapt to my opinion… but is this realistic since we all come from different experiences and knowledge bases?
I know I don’t want everyone to disagree with my opinion… but is this realistic since some people will agree with me to a point.
What I am hoping our meetings can contain is the ability to dialog without people being offended, or ignored. I want to attend meetings and run meetings where all are encouraged to speak their mind in love, be open and willing to discuss differences and work toward a common ground. That common ground might end with agreeing or disagreeing but more often I would like to see it settled with we can agree that we have difference and are will to agree to disagree on some points or areas and get to work at solving or adjusting to the changes or decisions that need to be made.
Far to often, we take disagreement as a personal slam or insult. We tend to get some tied to the cause or item we forget other people might not feel the same way… even if we try to sway or convince them. I know some will walk away from the meeting having not said a word in the meeting but will speak to others about it, which leads to more distance, hurt and resentment, not to mention the additional parties are now involved into the mess.
Far to often, we get on our stool of opinion and are not willing to listen to alternative sides. We might actually learn something new or a better way of doing things in we would just listen. How will we ever know if we don’t open our minds and ears.
Maybe one day we can simply agree to disagree but still respect and honor each other. Maybe we can trust the people God has around us a bit more each step in the right direction of being a person who is slow to anger, judge, assume and frustrate but quick to hear, listen, process and discuss?
I know I am a work in progress for sure.. sometimes I get it right and other times I fall short but I am working in the direction of being more willing to agree to disagree with honor and respect. Maybe just maybe our world will be a different place if we take the time….
One can only hope and work towards that… one meeting, conversation at a time.