The Key to Better Disagreement – S2E4

How do you deal with disagreement? That is the question that kicked off this topic.

Let’s delve into some powerful strategies and insights shared in the podcast to help you navigate through the challenges of personal growth and development.

Are you currently feeling frustrated or discouraged as you embark on learning a new skill or starting a new project? Do you find it challenging to maintain motivation and resilience during the initial phases? If so, you’re not alone. In a recent episode of the Be Better Tomorrow podcast, host Jason Fisher addressed a listener’s question on this very topic.

Manage Disagreement and Conflicts Effectively

Jason paralleled the concept of disagreement management within the context of personal and professional relationships. Recognizing that disagreements can stem from different facts or conflicting priorities, Jason stressed the importance of seeking common ground and understanding the perspectives of others. By approaching disagreements with humility and a genuine desire to understand, one can cultivate stronger and more respectful relationships, both personally and in the workplace.

Share and Support the Podcast

Jason Fisher expressed his desire to reach a wider audience with the impactful content of Be Better Tomorrow. Whether you find the podcast valuable for personal growth or simply wish to engage in thought-provoking discussions, sharing the episodes with friends, family, or on social media can contribute to the collective journey of improvement.

In conclusion, the journey of self-improvement and skill development is undoubtedly accompanied by challenges and setbacks. However, by embracing the process, seeking support, setting achievable milestones, and managing disagreements effectively, you can work towards maintaining motivation and resilience. By implementing these strategies and insights, you can equip yourself with the tools needed to be better tomorrow than you were yesterday.

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Hey there everybody, welcome to the Be Better Tomorrow podcast. I am your host Jason Fisher. Thank you for joining me on this improvement journey. This show is all about self-improvement, self-discovery, and of course being better tomorrow than you were yesterday. The show’s name is not just a clever title, it’s actually the goal.

Regardless, I got a great email from a listener named Alex. I’m going to go ahead and read it.

As a listener of Be Better Tomorrow, I’ve been inspired by the discussion on personal development and overcoming challenges. Given the show’s focus on growth and improvement, could you share insights or strategies on how to maintain motivation and resilience during the initial phase of learning a new skill or starting a new project, when progress feels slow and frustrations are high? How do you suggest handling the mental and emotional hurdles that come with stepping out of our comfort zones?

Great question Alex, I’m glad you sent it in, and you are not alone. We all deal with frustrations when we’re starting something new, that’s kind of what the show is about. If it’s a completely new skill you’re developing, just know that every step you take to improve that skill makes you better than yesterday, and you’re way ahead of the people who aren’t even trying.

So I’m going to go with the example of physical fitness because that’s the one that’s on the forefront of my mind, it’s the one I’m working on that’s mostly out of my comfort zone. I know that every day I get up early and go to the gym, I’m succeeding. It doesn’t matter that I’m not seeing rapid muscle growth or rapid weight loss, it doesn’t matter necessarily because the goal, while important, is not as important as the habits and the journey that I’m creating. I am creating the habit of getting up earlier and working towards something. I am building in myself the exercise of discipline. I wish we were in the Matrix and you just plug the computer in and make me more disciplined, but that’s not how it works. So struggling to get up and do something that’s uncomfortable, to swallow the frog, helps me to be more confident that the next time I try something, just like I accomplished this last thing, I can accomplish the next thing.

You know, James Clear talks about putting an ice cube into a freezing room in his book Atomic Habits, and you start raising the temperature in that room. The ice doesn’t melt instantly when it gets to 33 degrees. It takes time for the ice to start to melt, and the more you raise the temperature, the more the ice melts. So growth tends to be not linear, but a hockey stick. You see slow growth until suddenly you see fast growth. To know that that’s coming, and as long as you build your habits, and those habits that you’re building are actually habits that contribute to your goals, you will eventually get to your goal.

Seek support from people who are doing similar things. I get up every morning because my daughter wants to get up and go work out, and I don’t want to disappoint her. So we get up and we go to the gym together. She’s a great support partner, because who wants to disappoint your little girl when it comes to going to the gym? There’s other support groups on Facebook or through apps where you can get to know people that are all trying to accomplish the same goal. Those are great ways to go about it, but you can also reward yourself. So figure out steps you can take. Maybe you stick to a particular habit for 10 days, and then you get a reward. Now don’t make it like I’m going to eat dessert all day because I worked out for a week. That’s counterproductive. But there’s got to be something else you can reward yourself with. You know up front, it just takes discipline, and then eventually you’re going to be able to look back and know that you’re improving. If you can do something to keep metrics and to make smart goals, that’s helpful. I’ve got particular weightlifting goals that eventually when I hit, I’m going to be able to say, yes, I definitively, objectively improved. I can bench press my weight for the first time. That’s going to be an improvement. Or I can ride a particular mountain bike trail under a certain amount of time or at a certain rate, miles per hour, over the course of the ride. Those things are objective measures. Now if you’re looking at something like I’m learning to play the guitar, maybe you can’t necessarily have an objective measure, but I’m sure if you record yourself the first time you try to play a song, and then a month from now when you try to play that song and compare the two, you can see objective improvement. That gives you the confidence to know that these little habits over time are making you better. And even if you can’t see it from minute to minute to minute, you do know that over time that compounding interest of those habits is going to make you better and help you improve. It’s bound to happen.

Hey, thanks again for your email, Alex. If you, like Alex, have a question for me and you want to send it in, please send it to jason at, and if you’re fortunate enough to be one of the few sending in emails right now, I will be glad to read it and answer it on the air.

This show’s theme was inspired by a Toastmasters speech that I actually gave tonight. So if you’re in my Toastmasters club, you’ll know that I’m recording this the night after I got home. It was actually inspired by an interview question that I heard, and what I thought was a fairly clever answer that I gave. And it made me start to really dig in to try to understand why people disagree.

So the question was, what do you do about disagreements on your team? My clever answer was, I don’t allow disagreements on my team, which gave her a laugh, made me laugh. And I thought, you know, kind of opened the rapport between us. Professional Toastmasters tip here, if you can make people laugh, it gives you a second to think about your answer instead of jumping right into it. It’s one of the skills that Toastmasters has taught me over there is impromptu speaking. So when I’m being interviewed, I know how to take my time and give a good answer. What I did break it down to was people tend to disagree for one of two reasons. And oftentimes we’re not taught to disagree properly. We end up arguing more than disagreeing and working through the conflict. We yell, we scream, we don’t listen and hear the other person. We could get into all kinds of conversations about the straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks that people make. That’s not necessarily what I’m looking to talk about today.

So the way I framed up speech for Toastmasters was really with the theme of argument road and how we wanted to get off of that highway. I’m not going to bother doing that tonight. But here’s the thing. The first way people disagree is fact based. We have different facts. You know something I don’t. I know something you don’t. Or both of us know something that’s just not true. Or one of us may know something that’s just not true. We live now with the information of the world in our fingertips. There’s no reason for disagreement other than the fact that we can’t agree on what facts are true in some cases. Leaving politics out of it, however, think about a work situation where an email came out or one boss told somebody one thing, another boss told somebody something else. There was a factual level of disagreement. Now in that sort of situation, you can go to the bosses and try to understand what’s really going on. You can find information in different places. Once you all agree on the facts at hand, you can start to move on. But until you agree on the facts, it’s difficult to have any further solution. This is why when I disagree with my family, I try to start asking questions. What makes you think that? Or where did you get that information from? That’s not how I understood it. And oftentimes what happens is, well, mom said this. Oh, well, I didn’t know that’s what mom wanted. That’s why you and I seem to be disagreeing. You had information I didn’t. And I’ve actually started telling my children in those terms what just happened in the conversation so that they can understand it. That way, in future disagreements, we can have that rapport. Okay, what do you know that I don’t? What do I know that you don’t? That way, we get to the fact solution much faster.

The second step in disagreement is really about the actions to be taken, which are usually driven by priorities. I’ve worked in a consulting role where I had to be brought into a company because two teams couldn’t really decide what direction to take a particular project. And what we discovered was one team was incentivized one way, say customer service, and another team was incentivized another way, say speed and efficiency. Sometimes there’s a trade-off between those two things. And so when they were deciding the priority for the next phase of the project, each one was vying for a different aspect. Neither of these was necessarily wrong. They were just preferences and priorities that the two teams had held differently. And we see this a lot as much as I don’t want to get into politics. Sometimes people choose, let’s say security and safety over freedom. That’s the way it would be phrased. I showed a picture of my Toastmasters group of a guy completely wrapped in bubble wrap. He’s absolutely safe, but he’s not very free. We could eliminate almost all highway deaths if we never drove more than five miles an hour. It just wouldn’t be terribly efficient. All through life, we’re making decisions about what priorities we value more so that we can make decisions in line with those priorities. And here’s the thing. Once you understand the priorities people hold, you can understand why they’re making the decisions that they’re making or why they’re pointing for the decisions that they’re pointing to. It’s not necessarily wrong. People’s values aren’t necessarily wrong. It’s just a difference of opinion. And if we can cue down on those things and understand why the person is making the call that they’re making, and maybe they hold a certain priority differently than you do, well then, okay, we all agree that maybe public schools have some growing to do. But how do we make that adjustment to change? Well, maybe you value one thing over another. We can start to have those give and take discussions and understand what trade-offs there are.

So here’s the thing I ended with in my Toastmasters speech and what I’m going to ask you to do as well. Remain humble with your facts. There’s nothing worse than being arrogantly wrong. It’s embarrassing. It’ll make your pride swell up and then you’re just going to be embarrassed when it happens. So listen, if somebody comes to you with a fact that sounds absolutely ludicrous, ask where they got that. What brings you to that understanding? Ask some curious questions. Maybe they can provide you with information you didn’t have before. Now suddenly you’re wiser and you’ve learned something. That’s great. Maybe you can show them information that helps them understand that they were wrong. And if they’re a decent, humble person, you’ve gained a friend. What if disagreement wasn’t an opportunity to dunk on our opponents or to win the fight, but to grow the relationship, grow the understanding, and grow as people? The one thing my wife and I’ve just, I forget who even said it now, but we live by it. We don’t fight just in our marriage. We fight for our marriage. And when it comes to my friends, I don’t just fight with my friends, although I do that a lot. We’re a lot of debating people, but I fight for my relationships.

So I don’t want to end a relationship because we disagree on something. I want to understand your perspective. I want to grow as a person and I want to grow in expressing my opinion and listening to your opinion, understanding your opinion. I’m fairly convinced that if we can all walk humbly and fight for our relationships, whether it’s coworker, spouse, child, we’ll improve those relationships. And I think the world would just be a much better place. If not everybody else, I’ll feel much better because I’ve been that person who’s been wildly arrogantly wrong and I don’t like that feeling. So I want to improve the way I interact with people so that I can not be embarrassed, so I can win friends and grow as a person. And I think anybody who listens to the show is one of those people as well.

Okay. So this is what we ask you to do. If you’ve enjoyed the show, or even if you haven’t, send it to your friends, share it with just one person. That’s all I ask. If you don’t like the show, go ahead and share it to them as something you want to mock and make fun of later. I’m fine with that as long as you listen to the show.

If it is something you enjoyed and something you think you’ll help you grow, then by all means, share that as well. Whether you share it on social media or send it directly to a friend, I’m just looking to grow this podcast as quickly as possible. Make sure that I’m heading in the right direction, the more people listening, the more feedback we get, and then we know where we’re going. Follow-up articles or any handouts that I would have, handouts like I’m handing somebody a piece of paper to you, any downloads I would have, will be available at the website at, as well as links to our social media, to the Etsy store. We’ve got all kinds of cool little products being built out all the time.

Again, I hope this show has helped you to find something that will help you be better tomorrow. Be Better Tomorrow is released under a Creative Commons 3.0 share-alike attribution license, which means you can use this show or clips of it for anything you like as long as you give us credit and aren’t doing it for commercial purposes.

The music you’re hearing now is by Kevin MacLeod of IncomTech, also released under a Creative Commons share-alike license. All the information about this show and others can be found at, and I hope, as always, you’ll find something to help you be better tomorrow.

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