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Gus Van Horn blog

Reblogged:Getting Two Minds to Conform to Reality

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Over at Work: A Guide, Jorge Rodriguez discusses handling disagreements at work in a post titled, "How To Get Your Coworker To Agree With You." I found the piece thought-provoking and generally on the right track, although sometimes imprecisely worded. I think the below passage captures the main point and exemplifies my concerns:

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The two of you agree with each other, but do you agree with reality? (Image via Pixabay.)
When I say that you're not responsible for Kara or their icon, I don't mean to imply that you shouldn't express your concerns. You should of course do so for all features that concern you. Present your facts and allow Kara to use them to make what [she] consider the best decision. But if you carry into the conversation hopes or expectations about its result, then you disrespect your coworker. When I pushed the issue so hard that Kara became defensive, I wasn't respecting the boundaries of Kara's responsibilities, even though I thought highly of Kara as a designer. [bold added]
I agree with Rodriguez's main points, which I take to be (1) that one should not be too emotionally invested in getting another person to express agreement with what one says, and (2) that disagreement indicates that at least one party in a disagreement is wrong about something. That said, one should go into every conversation with "hopes and expectations about its result." It's just that those hopes should be focused on learning the truth -- be it by oneself, the other party, or both. In such a goal lies freedom from worry about what one cannot control, namely the output of another mind at a given moment. It will seem paradoxical to many in Rodriguez's audience that with such freedom will come a greater ability to influence others, but it does, because such a way of interacting shows respect for the sovereignty of their minds. More crucially, one will be more receptive to learning for oneself in the first place. I'm not sure if Rodriguez would go so far as to say that, but it is true, as one can see when encountering the "two-way door" part of his discussion.

-- CAV

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