Essays: Agree to Disagree
Civil discourse is not just at the heart of a liberal arts education; it is at the heart of human understanding.
Illuminated in this essay series is the belief that developing the ability to humbly appreciate another’s experience expands the mind, stimulates collaboration, strengthens relationships and opens new avenues of creativity, opportunity and solutions.
Especially relevant in the world of politics, political leaders must find ways to break through an impasse and make concessions to set policy and improve conditions.
The business world is no different. A recent Wall Street Journal article, “More Firms Bow to Generation Y’s Demands” discusses how employers are finding it more important than ever to make concessions to retain talent. Businesses are innovating their organizational practices and incentives to accommodate Gen Y’s demands for faster promotions, greater responsibilities and more flexible work environments, to the chagrin of older co-workers who feel that Gen Y needs to pay its dues just like they did.
Executives who fail to accommodate these demands find themselves
faced with high turnover rates among their young talent pools. Addressing the requests of a multigenerational workforce most certainly involves civil discourse.
As with most things these days, it’s routine to search Google to see what results pop up. It’s like shaking a magic eight ball that contains unlimited responses. In doing just that with the words “agree to disagree,” an article surfaced that explored the history of the phrase. But more interesting was a visual on the page that said, “Disagree to Disagree.” Now isn’t that interesting.
Whatever the resolution, those who enter into such discussions without hostility and with respect and an open mind, will be better for having done so.