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3 constructive ways to be contrary

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Frustrated by the way things are going? Disagree with a boss or colleague? Resist the urge to vent. Three ways to clash tactfully:

1. Ask permission to share another point of view: Example: “I’d like to share a thought that runs slightly counter to that idea.” A savvy boss will welcome another perspective, especially one that’s presented professionally.

2. Replace “Yes, but …” with “Yes, and …” That way, you’re setting up the conversation as an exchange of ideas, rather than a disagreement.

3. Conclude the conversation on a positive note. Your ideas will make a stronger impression if you end with a powerful, upbeat closing statement. Example: “This all sounds promising. Thanks for taking the time to discuss it.”

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