The three realms of disagreement are: anxiety about what is true (the head realm of information and science), anxiety about what is meaningful (the heart realm of preferences and values), and anxiety about what is useful (the hands realm of practicality and planning). – Buster Benson, Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement
“What is this about?”
One of the key ways to break down an argument or disagreement in order to deal with issues that arise in a productive way, is to identify what the argument is really about.
Buster Benson in his new book, “Why Are We Yelling? The Art of Productive Disagreement” breaks all disagreements into three categories:
1. Anxiety About What is True – the Head realm of Information and Science
2. Anxiety About What is Meaningful – the Heart realm of Preferences and Values
3. Anxiety About What is Useful – the Hands realm of Practicality and Planning
Sometimes arguments and disagreements could fall into multiple categories making things even messier. Also, based on personality type and how you are “wired” you might find that one category of argument comes up more often than another.
Benson’s book goes through eight “conversational habits” that will help readers turn frustrating battles into productive exchanges. Benson also promises that leaders will learn new superpowers of communication in the realm of disagreements.
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