Written by Kevan M. Sizemore.
Technologist. Educator. Storyteller. Lifelong Learner.
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Confusing Disagreement with Disrespect

| ~200 words | ~1 minutes

Whenever a conflict or contentious issue arises, you can:

Disrespect is not a requirement to disagree. When our discourse moves from respectful agreement or disagreement towards disrespect, it disconnects the discussion from the issue at hand.

When mutual respect is compromised, our attention is wrongly focused on the persons engaged in discourse. If we’re not mindful of this perilous shift in focus, further dialogue becomes a distraction or an obstacle to settling the issue at hand.

Expect and respect the fact others may see matters from a different perspective. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong. Rather, they’re looking at things from a different location or through a different lens than we’re accustomed to.

Disagreements are opportunities to “see” something from perspectives or through lenses we might otherwise overlook. Those courageous enough to respectfully disagree will likely cultivate a more informed perspective and perhaps, a bit more empathy and consideration for others in the process.

With every conflict or issue that arises, you get to decide whether it ends with respectful empathy or disrespectful antipathy.

Beware of denigrating discourse; it leads to dysfunctional dialogue.

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