Navigating Professional Disagreements

The Ritz-Carlton Perspective

Real professionals can vehemently disagree with each other’s point of view and yet, remain respectful.

DOs and DON’Ts of Professional Disagreement

  • DO genuinely listen. You may have an opposite point-of-view, but if you dismiss your colleague’s ideas without listening, you will seem intractable, disrespectful and uncooperative.
  • DON’T belittle or yell at your colleague. Raising your voice does not make you more right. Professionals are able to control their emotions and remain calm no matter the circumstances.
  • DO consider stopping an impassioned discussion and resuming the conversation after you’ve both had time to think or do further research.
  • DON’T continuously interrupt your colleague. If your co-worker isn’t giving you the opportunity to speak, you may need to cut him or her off. However, you should also give your colleague the opportunity to finish a sentence.
  • DO consider consulting a third party. If you are truly at a stalemate, a mediator or neutral co-worker can help you arrive at a resolution.
  • DON’T hold a grudge if your point-of-view ends up being overridden. Do your best to support the final decision and show your colleagues that you are a team player—even when it’s someone else’s idea.