Agree and adjust to promote collaboration and make balanced decisions.


There is a discussion between individuals with disparate views, and one or more of the individuals are showing signs of being defensive/aggressive.


In these situations the focus of an individual can move to the emotions rather than the topic of discussion. This can lead to outcomes based on the strength of personality or emotion, rather than the validity of an argument.


The idea here is to find some common ground between the views and to actively “agree” with it. By focusing on the common ground you can potentially defuse the emotional response, and start to incrementally “adjust” other aspects of the views held.


In this situation you want to “agree” on some aspect of the topic, ideally something you will all deem important. Once you have gained agreement and the emotions have been defused, you can begin to “adjust” other aspects if you feel it’s appropriate e.g. in a situation where you find yourself arguing about whether or not a black room should be repainted grey or blue, try to say something like “So I think we both don’t like the room being painted black… do you think it needs to be a shade, or could it be a colour?”. In this example you are seeking agreement that you both don’t like the black paint, from there you can start to incrementally adjust and work towards a collaborative decision.