I Don't Agree Book Summary - I Don't Agree Book explained in key points
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I Don't Agree summary

Michael Brown

Why we can’t stop fighting – and how to get great stuff done despite our differences

4 (220 ratings)
22 mins

What is I Don't Agree about?

I Don’t Agree (2020) is a practical guide to improving your conflict resolution skills. Disagreement is seen as bad, and even scary. But, actually, conflict can be a powerful engine for growth if you know how to deal with it effectively. I Don’t Agree provides ten practical strategies that will help you become an expert in dealing with conflict in all areas of your life.

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    I Don't Agree
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    Start learning conflict resolution skills while you’re young.

    We’re all seasoned fighters, especially if we grow up with brothers or sisters. According to psychologist Laurie Kramer, siblings between the ages of three and seven have a whopping 49 disagreements every day, spending over two hours in conflict.

    That means by the time you’re a teenager, you’ll have spent many thousands of hours arguing, surpassing Malcolm Gladwell’s famous benchmark of 10,000 hours to master a new skill.

    The problem is that while children are practiced in fighting, they’re much less seasoned in resolving arguments. Research has shown that only 12 percent of arguments between siblings reach a resolution. The rest are left to fester until they flare up again.

    And argumentative children become argumentative adults. That fight in the boardroom over stock options isn’t so different from the fight in the playroom over who is going to play with the train set.

    The good news is that this cycle can be broken. You can learn how to resolve conflicts. Especially if you start young.

    Parents commonly allow children to sort out fights by themselves, or get into disciplinarian mode and punish them for misbehaving. But expert research has shown that it’s much more productive when parents do intervene, and actively work with their children to teach them how to sort out their conflicts. The best tactic is to wait until tempers have cooled down, and then call everyone to the table for some collaborative problem-solving, listening to everyone’s point of view and brainstorming how to come to a compromise.

    Of course, this will all be fruitless if the parents aren’t themselves modeling how to resolve conflicts between themselves. Children are like sponges, they mirror everything you do. Showing that you can talk about conflicts and come to a compromise teaches them much more than a lecture ever could and gives them vital skills for navigating the world.

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    About the Author

    Michael Brown is the founder and managing director of an internationally renowned marketing organization. He’s also a social enterprise pioneer, helping to create the first mental health drop-in center inside a soup kitchen. Brown is a sought-after consultant on how to improve organizational cultures and create thriving collaborations.

    Who should read I Don't Agree?

    • Employees seeking to improve their collaborations
    • Anyone wanting to resolve a bitter argument
    • Parents who want to learn how to teach conflict resolution skills to their kids

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