Agree to disagree is a subtle way of telling someone who you are never going to see eye-to-eye and that whatever discussion you are having is getting nowehere…and it’s also probably advice divorce attorneys get paid thousands for during mediation. But clichés and overpricing aside, there could be some truth to it.
In any sort of relationship – love, career, friend, or enemy – there are values and ideas that you won’t agree with others on no matter. Layman’s terms – if you don’t like tomatoes at your house, you’re not going to eat them by the dozen at the office. The vegetable (or fruit ?? I still don’t really know) in this situation is what I would call a non-negotiable. The deal-breaker. The “Oh, hell no! I know you did not just say that” finger snapping, head swaying thing that sets you off.
Although you may think the non-negotiables are different for your work life and personal life, in reality the lines are blurred and the area is gray. And if you work full-time, you’ll know that the scale of work life balance is a little off anyways… like you step on it and it is showing you lost 50 pounds in two hours off. Or maybe it’s one of those fancy scales that just keeps flashing 000.
Back on track now. The truth is that there is no separation; work becomes part of your life, not its own separate world. If you don’t agree with a certain belief or behavior at home, you’re 85.6% of the time not going to agree with it in your office. (The other 14.4% is taken out in case someone bribes you with an elaborate corporate vacation, thousands of shares, or a salary-doubling raise. Then maybe you’ll see eye-to-eye, or at least consider it.)
For me personally, the non-negotiables are:
–Honesty – Besides always being the best policy and possibly the very backbone of the almighty Golden Rule, it is the foundation that every relationship is built upon. Honesty is of the utmost importance with co-workers, with customers, and with family members. Lies lead to cracks, cracks lead to crumbles, and crumbles lead to Jerry Springer and Judge Judy.
–Family – I have a work family and home family, and have noticed a few similarities. In both instances we: 1) Encourage each other regularly 2)Support each other when things get tough 3)Value input and ideas 4)Celebrate successes and 5)Defend each other from whatever may threaten the bond. To remain a family unit or team, you must function together and overcome challenges together.
–Respect – If I am busting my @ss giving you the above 1-5, I expect you do the same for me. Done like dinner on this one. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
–Reliability – If you said you are going to do something, do it. And this may just be a pet peeve of mine, but do it when you said you were going to do it, too. Not two weeks from now. I value timeliness, just not enough to give it its own bullet point.
Having non-negotiables isn’t a bad thing. In fact, putting non-negotiables to use on a team/family level will give everyone a clear objective and common goal to better achieve success.
Non-negotiables can be a canvas for change.
What are yours?