107. Unveiling the Top Communication Mistake in Disagreements

As humans, it is not possible to agree on everything all the time. It is natural and completely okay to have different opinions. In fact, having different opinions can be a good thing, because it expands our perspectives. The problem occurs when you respond unskillfully to hearing a differing opinion. If when hearing an opinion you disagree with, you respond with dismissive language, that creates separation between you and the other person and can quickly turn a conversation into an argument. Today, host and transformative communication coach Alejandra discusses the number one communication mistake people make during disagreements by sharing examples of dismissive language. She also explains how to avoid this situation by disagreeing more skillfully with language that encourages connection instead of separation.


When someone tells you something that you disagree with, how do you typically respond? The most common way people respond is by trying to demonstrate how the other person’s opinion is wrong in an attempt to persuade them to change their minds. From your perspective, you may not realize that you are actually being dismissive of how the other person feels. The purpose of communication is to forge connections with others, but by using dismissive language, you are actually dismantling that connection. Instead of responding dismissively, remember to keep your intention of connection central to your conversation. By disagreeing more skillfully, you can have more meaningful conversations, learn more about the other person, and expand your mind.


The next time you are in a conversation that starts heading toward a disagreement, try to respond skillfully rather than dismissively. Just because you have differing opinions does not mean that you cannot communicate with compassion. 



• “This very common mistake we make is that when we hear an opinion we disagree with, we dismiss what we just heard.” (6:02 | Alejandra)

• “When we dismiss what we just heard, we tend to do two things. Number one, we try to show the other person that their opinion is wrong. And number two, we try to persuade them that our opinion is right.” (6:12 | Alejandra)

• “Language is one of the most powerful tools we have available to us to bring forth healing or harm.” (7:38 | Alejandra) 

• “When you have an opinion that's different from the other person’s, please avoid using language that's hurtful to the other.” (9:29 | Alejandra)

• “When you hear something you disagree with, remember that you are talking to this person and fulfilling a very important need for yourself and the other. And that is the need for connection.” (12:34 | Alejandra)

• “Learning to disagree skillfully with others in a way that leads to connection will help you have meaningful and enriching conversations in which you and the other can learn about each other and you can also expand your perspectives.” (13:18 | Alejandra)

• “If you would like to relate to other humans like you with clarity, confidence and compassion… show up in your family, your workplace, your community in a way that brings more equity, more love, and more healing.” (2:35 | Alejandra)

• “Your friend was talking about their childhood and their sweet memories of playing with Barbies… because of how you're using language to express yourself.” (6:38 | Alejandra)

• “When someone tells us something about them or an opinion they have about something and we dismiss them with our language, we are creating separation. When we are having a conversation, we are connecting with someone or at the very least we're heading towards the possibility of connection. But when we dismiss someone, that connection breaks. Dismissive language disconnects us, separates us, divides us, hurts us.” (11:16 | Alejandra)


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Podcast Music composed by Gary Lapow: open.spotify.com/artist/1HlMhcNfKIELxYil5mVqD


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