1. Look at the person (This shows that they are listening and respect you. Looking at people when you talk to them is great social practice and good for self confidence building.)
2. Keep a calm voice and calm face (This shows that the youth is in control of her emotions. This also shows that they are ready to talk to you and listen.)
3. Ask to disagree appropriately (Having to ask reminds them that they need to accept your decision because you are the authority figure.)
4. Say that you understand the other person’s opinion (This is a high level communication skill. Seek first to understand – then to be understood.)
5. Say your opinion (The youth gets to practice reasoning and problem solving.)
6. Accept the Yes or No answer from the other person (This applies to parents, adults, and even other children.)
Disagreeing Appropriately is a very mature style of communication. Many adults can’t do it. I suppose I should say that they haven’t ever learned how to do it.
When I see my children are getting frustrated, I gently remind them that they can disagree appropriately. I even tell my children exactly how to disagree with ME sometimes. The point of the skill is to learn how to stop emotion and problem solve instead of get upset, and to learn when it’s a good time to appropriately disagree.
This skill is invaluable to me, as an adult. I disagree with my children in this same format (omitting step 3). I disagree with my husband, parents, friends, neighbors, or anyone like this.
When people take the time to show that they understand the other person’s view before telling their side of the story, they automatically give a message that they don’t want to offend, they want to work as a team, and they want to share extra information that the other person might not have with that person. It suggests concern. If you show concern for the person you are talking to like this, your opinions are more likely to be HEARD.
When my child disagrees appropriately I usually accept the disagreement so that they see that choosing to control their emotions makes things go good.
Imagine what our world would be like if EVERYONE knew how disagree appropriately.