Posted in Money on December 5th, 2017
Value offers us one form of money that can be useful in any situation. Value may or may not be legal tender and it may or may not be gold in a situation, but if we have value, we may be able to use the value to exchange for other value. We’ll look at value in the social context of an argument, debate or disagreement among peers and how we can use the value of staying within the situation to increase our other values, some of which may be financial. Don’t feel bad if you struggle with this, as it takes a lot of work to improve this area of life. We make mistakes here too, so we’re working on this just like many of you are as well.
Since we know that value comes from strong behavior, as we improve our behavior, we’ll be able to exchange value easier. We gain wealth from value when we talk to people we share disagreements. In general, most disagreements challenge us, so if we can’t handle a challenge, we’re weak and we’re in a situation where we’re not growing as people. Like Thomas Sowell communicates in the below video isolation will lead to poverty and backwardness. We don’t want this for ourselves. This means that we will sometimes meet people who communicate incorrect truths or statements and while we can correct them, we may not find it beneficial to do so. This tip involves the second situation – we disagree, but we have no interest in debating. How can we do this?
Do we want to be people with very strong and imposing views? No. People with very strong opinions, like the people who engage in witch hunts, often end up alienating many people around them. They don’t realize this at the time, but they slowly lose respect, friendships, and huge opportunity. They create their own isolation by being “better than everyone” and making it clear.
We are not better than anyone. We will never be better than anyone.
If we meet someone with a strong opinion, we should practice taking an assessment of the situation. The person’s behavior is communicating that their ideas trump people and relationships with people. Is that what we want? What value can we obtain from imposing our ideas on others, who may not accept these ideas? We can all agree and disagree, but being nasty to people when we disagree alienates us from others. One way to handle the disagreement is to say nothing. Listen to the person, take mental notes, and be friendly. When our chance comes to give our opinion, let’s give it with grace, so that we avoid being people with a strong view – “… That’s just my view. I’ve been wrong before, so take it with a grain of salt.” Ending (or leading) with humilty helps prevent us from coming off too strong to others. If we still feel like we came off too strong, we can either avoid sharing our views, or emphasize past mistakes with more frequency when giving a view.
Remember: we are not better than anyone and alienating others will directly reduce opportunities in life.
Listen. If the person expresses a view we don’t share, but we find interesting or that we consider may have some truth (challenging our comfort zone), let’s listen to them. We may learn new information. We may learn a new skill – such as learning to listen (a very rare skill). We may even connect dots we didn’t realize. Some of the “wrong” opinions I’ve heard at one time, have been true in other times, and all of them have taught me at least one other skill – from learning to communication style.
Since listening requires more discipline than talking, the inherent nature of listening builds value in the form of discipline. If someone expresses a view that we don’t share and we feel the urge to disagree, the nature of saying nothing is an act of discipline. Also, if we reflect on disagreement we’ve had in the past, how did expressing our view make us richer? Did it make us richer? Did it move us forward? Did we learn anything valuable? Did we become more disciplined? Most of the time, expressing a view is a waste. Still, most people will do it, so this gives us plenty of opportunities to listen and not speak.
Assess the situation. Suppose that we’re in a group of ten people and one person expresses a view that others do not share and an argument ensues. We immediately have a social experiment unfolding in front of us. Is it the view that causes the debate? The word choice? The way the view was conveyed? Consider how a simple situation, like negotiation, allows us to assess the same questions as well – is the person pushing back upset over the price only, or something else? We will face plenty of opportunities to speak and learning to assess social situations quietly helps us determine how we can best proceed when we’re in these situations.
Negotiation provides a great example of where learning to handle disagreements directly creates value – with financial value being a direct benefit, in some cases. In podcast 107, we’ll discuss the 2 negotiation tips that result in a 60-70% success rate with raises at companies, even during a recessionary period.
Most people will never assess a situation because this requires mental effort and it requires that we put aside our emotional bias. People love their emotions and their emotional reactions, as it these come easy with no effort. Anytime we feel our emotions arise, we should immediately pause and ask ourselves why we feel so stronly about something. We should not be people of emotions; as Sun Tzu warns, “Do not use arms because of your emotions.” Think. Assess. Reflect.
We can stay in our comfort zone. We can relax in our echo chamber. We can also challenge our self and grow our personal value. The best opportunities arise when we’re surrounded by people who may not share our values, as it makes you consider why we behave the way we do and challenges us to consider other approaches to our life. All of us have a long journey to perfect ourselves in this area, and it’s a journey that will enrich us beyond just financial wealth.