Disagreements are healthy and necessary in the workplace.

How you handle them will make or break your professional relationships.

Two cats fighting. The text reads,

What's In Your Control?

When you disagree with a colleague, it is important to express your honest opinion without offending that person.

For this to work, pay close attention to your:

  • body language — what you do

A woman crosses her arms and frowns.

  • verbal language — what you say

A man complains loudly.

Body Language

Build trust and transparency in your workplace relationships with appropriate non-verbal communication.

To convey interest:

  • Lean slightly toward the other person.

  • Keep eye contact.

  • Maintain an open and relaxed posture.

  • Tilt your head or nod slightly.

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Verbal Language

  • Be specific, open, and direct when talking.

  • Communicate your feelings and needs appropriately and respectfully.

  • Keep the conversation focused on the specific behaviors, work practices, or communication at issue and avoid personal attacks.

The boss from Office Space says,


Jasmine asks Ram, her co-worker, to do some tasks in a really aggressive tone. Ram resents the way Jasmine talks to him. What should he do?

Scenario: Missed Deadline

Richard is angry that his team missed a crucial project deadline. At a team meeting, he accuses Lily of dropping the ball. Lilly doesn't think she's to blame and wants to confront Richard without making the situation worse.

Two people in an office argue. One says to the other,


What can Lily ask Richard to help deal with the conflict like a pro?

Take Action

Think of a past situation where you disagreed with a coworker:

Three images of Pablo Escobar. The text reads,


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