Given today’s political and social environments, it doesn’t take much for a minor disagreement to escalate quickly. With people’s sensitivities at their peak, strong emotions are likely to emerge at the mere mention of certain topics.

To lead with emotional intelligence is critical in these situations.

1. Remain self-aware.
Negative emotions, such as anger and frustration, will hijack your body.

2. Show respect.
While you may vehemently disagree with this person, everyone has a right to their opinions.

3. Establish mutual ground.
There is something within every topic that two parties can agree upon, even if it’s based on a broad concept.

4. Foster trust.
People want to be heard and need to trust that they can voice their opinions without consequence.

5. Agree to disagree.
Differing viewpoints, values, expectations, needs, and personalities in general are what make this world work.
Learn to appreciate and value diversity rather than force your opinion.

6. End the conversation.
Willingness to walk away before too much damage is done is a demonstration of confidence and emotional intelligence.

There’s nothing like an argument to test your leadership skills.

How to politely and productively disagree