Utilize things that both sides disagree on to make them agree with each other

How to Alleviate Disagreements Using Common Enemies

When people find themselves in heated disagreements, neither side wants to turn back from where they came without changing a few minds. It is what makes alleviating disagreements with high stakes behind them a difficult thing to do. Each side is hyper-sensitive to any form of push-back, and are passionate in their search for truth. Should you find yourself mediating disagreements such as those, this article aims to help a little bit in that domain.


On the Lookout for Common Enemies


A priority high on your list should be finding points which the two groups in question actually agree on. These points of agreement aren’t always easily identifiable, as people can say the same things in different ways. Sometimes they insinuate agreement with the opposite side without saying it outright, and sometimes they don’t know with what they agree themselves. The little agreements are the common enemies of both sides to heated arguments. They are issues which both sides agree on tackling and are actionable at once. They are effective in getting the ball rolling and analyzing where things stand further down the line.

A High-Level Example:

An environmentalist and the head of an oil drilling project may disagree on strategy surrounding the drilling for oil. The points that environmentalists preach mostly have to do with scientific data backing the existence of global warming. However, they may also hint on the fact that current drilling methods are inefficient in process, outside of being harmful to the environment.

The chances that a strategy surrounding the drilling of oil will change based on environment-conscious protests are low. Agreeing with those claims is a losing situation for the drilling corporation in question. In this instance, you should recognize that the drilling executives are more privy to entertain the thought of their processes being inefficient. Should you clearly connect your information to their bottom line, they will listen.

In the instance above, the inefficiency of drilling operations may be a common enemy two sides with opposing views can share. Once you identify the common enemy in question, begin steering conversation its way. Action is a necessity for issue mitigation. Steer the conversation toward action by focusing on how to defeat these common enemies. Begin working as a team with two previously opposing sides, and perhaps they may continue to develop understanding in doing so.


Distract From Disagreement


The act of finding common enemies, presenting them, then focusing on defeating them will serve to distract any two sides opposed. It will serve to distract attention from the battle they both fight, and any disagreements that they have. The act of distracting them from their most sensitive points serves to lower guards.Even if you lower the guard of one individual, the effect can spread. Once one individual transfers their focus from defending points to one of defeating common enemies, others will follow.

Common enemies do a good job in propelling stagnant points of disagreement into some sort of mutually beneficial action. The concept depends on two sides agreeing in certain areas of their otherwise opposing stance. Your job is to find those points of mutual agreement. Finding common enemies will serve to break the ice of working as a team. People will be massaged into being understanding of the other’s perspective. They will further discover how those who disagree with them think.

Since opposing sides are often focused on attacking the arguments of the other. A simple diversion of their focus can establish a good point to commence with action rather continue with verbal disagreement. That diversion should consist of things both groups agree on and care enough about to take shared action against.

Book Recommendation: 

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It

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