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Why Do People Keep Insisting On Dissenting From Me?

I just don’t understand why people keep insisting on dissenting from me. It’s really quite frustrating and annoying. But I suppose I’ll just have to deal with it because it’s not like I’m ever wrong about anything. 🤔 😉 Dissenting is expressing disagreement with or opposing an opinion, view, or att

Phil McKinney
Phil McKinney
4 min read
image of a team in discussion during a brainstorm
Discussion during a brainstorming session

I just don't understand why people keep insisting on dissenting from me. It's really quite frustrating and annoying. But I suppose I'll just have to deal with it because it's not like I'm ever wrong about anything. 🤔 😉

Dissenting is expressing disagreement with or opposing an opinion, view, or attitude. So if someone is dissenting, they state they do not agree with a certain belief or idea.

There can be many reasons someone might choose to dissent. They may believe that the opinion or view in question is wrong, harmful, or simply not in line with their own values. Sometimes, people may dissent simply because they want to provoke change or challenge the status quo. Whatever the reason, dissenting is a way of taking a stand against something.

Dissenting can take many forms, from speaking out loudly and forcefully to more subtle methods like withholding support or refusing to go along with the majority. Sometimes, people may choose to express their dissent through acts of civil disobedience, which is a deliberate act of defiance against an unjust law or system. Dissenting is a powerful way to make one's voice heard and stand up for their beliefs.

When Others Dissent From You

Some people might tell you that there's only one way to do things and that anything else is wrong. They may try to convince you that their way is the best way or the only way.

There is no one right answer to everything – in fact, sometimes the best ideas come from dissenting opinions. Be open to others' points of view and be willing to consider them, even if they're different from your own. It might surprise you what you can learn.

When You Are The Dissenter

It’s not enough to just be right. You also have to convince other people of your point of view. That means you need data, arguments, and evidence that supports your opinion or idea.

Dissenting opinions can create a diversity of thought that leads to better decision-making. They can also give you a chance to see the other side’s point of view and learn from it. But if you can’t argue your case convincingly, then your dissenting opinion won’t matter much.

Playing Devil's Advocate To Raise Dissent

Playing the devil's advocate is a type of dissent that can improve an argument. It can help to identify the weaknesses in an argument and to find potential solutions. The devil's advocate is a person who takes on the role of arguing against a position, even if they don't actually believe in it. This can be a valid form of dissent because it can help to improve the quality of an argument by identifying its weaknesses.

Playing the role of the devil's advocate can be seen as agitating for change. This is because it forces people to re-examine their beliefs and to consider other points of view. It can be a valid form of dissent because it can help to create discussion and debate about an issue.

However, it is important to remember that playing the devil's advocate should not be used to attack someone or to make them look foolish. They should use it as a tool to improve an argument by identifying its weaknesses and finding potential solutions.

If you can't change someone's mind, change their reality.

Phil McKinney

Dissenting Opinions Role in the Innovation Process

Dissenting opinions play a very important role in the innovation process. Why? Innovators who genuinely seek to change the status quo need dissent. Diverse groups relying on different perspectives and backgrounds can provide a wider range of insight than innovation committees composed solely of experts within an industry.

In order for progress to be made, there must always be dissenting voices challenging the current paradigm or idea in place, no matter how widely accepted it may be. This is how innovation and change occur; someone has a new idea that goes against what is currently accepted, and they fight for it until it eventually becomes the new norm.

While it may seem counterintuitive, having a dissenting voice in a group actually increases the creativity of the entire team. When people are faced with different perspectives, they are forced to think outside the box and come up with new ideas that they may not have otherwise considered.

So if you want your team to be truly innovative, encourage dissent and disagreement. It may not always be comfortable, but it is necessary for progress.

Examples Of Dissent Leading To Innovation

One of the most famous cases of dissent leading to innovation is when Galileo Galilei disagreed with the Church's stance on heliocentrism. Galileo's dissenting opinion led to him being put under house arrest, but his work and findings laid the foundation for the scientific revolution. If he had not gone against the grain, who knows how long it would have taken for the world to accept heliocentrism.

An example of dissent leading to innovation is the Wright brothers. They were not the first to think of flight, but they were the first to successfully build and fly a plane. This was due, in part, to their willingness to dissent from the status quo and experiment with new ideas. If they had not been willing to take risks and push boundaries, we might still be waiting for someone to invent the airplane.

Love The Dissenters

So, the next time you are in a meeting and someone has a different opinion than you, don't dismiss them out of hand. Instead, listen to what they have to say and consider their perspective. You may just find that you learn something new or come up with a better solution than you would have otherwise. Who knows, your dissenting opinion could be the next big thing!

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Phil McKinney is an innovator, podcaster, author, and speaker. He is the retired CTO of HP. Phil's book, Beyond The Obvious, shares his expertise and lessons learned on innovation and creativity.


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