Agree and Disagree: How To Argue
by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.
You want to disagree with someone, but you want to do it in a polite manner.
Here’s a useful expression that you may want to add to your letter-writing and conversational vocabulary. I heard it when Norwegian Rock Star Ida Maria was interviewed on PBS.
The singer who is known for the song “I eat boys like you for breakfast” was asked by the interviewer if she had a negative attitude about males.
Marie began politely, “I can agree with you that…(Then she indicated what she agreed with.)….I also believe that…(She then indicated how she disagreed.)….”
It is not necessary to use the word “But” to begin the disagreement part of the answer Simply pause and say, “I also think (or believe). .
This is an useful formula for a letter or if you are making an argument. It is polite and respectful of the other party. It begins on a positive note and makes a point of acknowledging that there is some merit in the statement/s that has just been made.
“This is a book to cherish and share.”—Bill Marriott, CEO, Marriott International, Inc.
“Not only does Griessman give us Lincoln quotes, but he also weaves each one into a little jewel of an essay on that particular subject.” Wayne C. Temple, renowned Lincoln scholar, Illinois State Archives
A stirring, inspirational treasury of quotations from our greatest and most admired president, the book offers rich material for interpretation, reflection, and spiritual guidance.
You will also enjoy Lincoln Speaks To Leaders by Gene Griessman and Pat Williams.
Don’t leave yet. You’ve found a goldmine. Check out additional power phrases and unusual quotations.