Do you want to be an amazing human being; in all relationships, with everyone?

Then take the tools of great debaters and get the whole picture. Get in the habit of seeing all sides of disputes, all sides of situations. Even if you are committed to one point of view, you can grab it back after you become an advocate for your adversary’s perspective.

Feels kinda wonky? So what! This is a train the brain tool that will help you for the rest of your life. The more you can say “and on the other hand”, the more you can refine your argument and even more importantly, talk with those who disagree with you with more tack, more finesse, more helpfulness.

Here is the bottom line. The two keys things all people everywhere want is to be heard and to be acknowledged. Now, I did not say to be in agreement. I said to be heard and acknowledged.

First, when someone says something that gnarls your gut, simple say “I hear you” or a variation of that. Then ask for some details. You can take some deep breaths and then say “thanks for your good input.”

Okay, you’ve done what you can to set a level playing field. Now, instead of charging back with your retorts and points to prove give the conversation a break; get to the internet and see where your opponent has valid points. Here is where the rubber meets the road: just for a brief time, be your opponent. That’s right, as Native American wisdom suggests; walk in his or her moccasins.

This is tough work. You will catch yourself sliding back to your own patterns and preferences. Stay with the opposite; I promise you will learn a lot about yourself, your opponent, and how to find the best ways to discuss difficult issues.

Train your brain to see many perspectives. Your brain will feel like it is getting a five star meal with all the trimmings. It will thank you when you have the next encounter with someone whose point of view is diametrically opposed to yours. The range and power of your thinking will have expanded.

Become a human being who is a relationship genius, one who can say in the midst of an argument, “And on the other hand…” It will make you a go-to guy or gal and a leader of merit.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Lafair, Ph.D., author of the award winning book, “Don’t Bring It to Work”, “Working Together” and “Pattern Aware Success Guide”e- book, is President of CEO, Creative Energy Options, Inc., a global consulting company focused on optimizing workplace relationships through extratordinary leadership. Dr. Lafair’s unique model has revolutionized the way teams cooperate, relate and innovate.
She can be reached at or 570-636-3858;