Have you ever watched someone turn a criticism from another person into a completely positive and amenable situation? Have you ever noticed that for these people, even the harshest of criticism seems to roll effortlessly off their back? Without being drawn into an argument, they maintain an even temper and often wind up turning the whole situation to their advantage.

In this extract from the International Bestseller, Easy Peasey People Skills For Life, Allan and Barbara Pease share the simple steps to being agreeable with others. And it doesn’t mean compromising your values or your position……

Having an agreeable manner is one of the most important habits you can cultivate. People love those who are agreeable and dislike those who disagree. To be agreeable with anyone who is critical of you, either agree if it’s true OR agree with the critic’s right to their opinion.

1. How to agree with the Truth

The most powerful response you can give to your critic is to agree with the truth of what they say and then restate your position.

For example:

Mother: If you go dancing tonight, you’ll have trouble getting out of bed for work in the morning.

Daughter: You’re probably right! But I love dancing and can’t wait to go!

The daughter has agreed with the truth of her mother’s criticism, while at the same time maintaining her own position.

Sue: I don’t think you should quit your job, Adam. You’re a key person in the company and if the economy goes bad you’ll still have a job. Going into business alone has no guarantees!

Adam: You’re absolutely right, Sue. There are no guarantees but I know I’ll do well and I’m really looking forward to this opportunity!

Adam agreed with the truth of what Sue said. He didn’t argue with her or put himself or her down and he still maintained his position without being aggressive.

2. How to agree with your critic’s right to an opinion

Often, you will disagree with your critic’s opinion, but you can still agree with their right to have an opinion, however silly you think their opinion is.

For example:

David: If you keep on spending all your money on clothes Monica, you’ll end up broke!

Monica: I understand how you might feel that way Dave, but I just love the feeling of having a lot of different outfits.

Leanne: How could you buy a Mazda, Glen? You know Toyotas are much better cars!

Glen: Your opinion is understandable, Leanne and – you’re right – Toyotas are great cars, but I just love the feel of the Mazda!

Glen and Monica both agreed with their critic’s right to an opinion. Glen also agreed with the truth – but neither backed away from their position or made the other person feel wrong. Even when you totally disagree with their criticism, there is usually a way of being agreeable while affirming what you believe to be the truth.

You’re goal should be to always make others feel right, even when you don’t agree with them.

Here are the five keys to becoming an agreeable person:

1. Decide to be agreeable with every person you meet. Develop an agreeable nature and make others feel right.

2. Agree with the Truth. Let others know that you agree with something they said. Nod

your head and say, ‘Yes, you’re right’ or ‘I agree with you’.

3. Agree with your critic’s right to an opinion. Even when you think they are talking complete nonsense, acknowledge that it’s OK for them to think that way while, at the same time, you restate what you believe to be true.

4. Admit it when you are wrong. People who admit fault are admired by others but most people prefer to deny, lie or lay blame. If you’re wrong say:

‘I certainly got that wrong …’

‘I really blew it …’

‘I was wrong …’

5. Avoid arguing. You can rarely win an argument, even if you’re right. Arguing loses friends and credibility and gives fighters what they want– a fight.

Extract from Easy Peasey People Skills for Life

Copyright © Allan Pease


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