Disagreement in a panel discussion can be crucial for robust conversation, so it’s important to learn how to recognize it, analyze it and make strategic moments with it. I’ve written a plethora of resources on just that.
However, recently my good friend and colleague, Barry Banther, CSP, CPAE made an astute observation the other day about where it originates. (Actually, Barry makes TONS of astute observations about the world in which we work and play, but I just happened to be in the same room at the time he said this!). What an interesting idea to study – where it comes from versus just how to deal with it. I immediately applied his advice to the topic of disagreement in a panel discussion.
He said, “When people disagree, be curious about whether it is a disagreement in principle or preference.”
For me, that was a mic-drop moment as people disagree on panels all the time!
As a moderator, what a gift to probe further to discover if the disagreement is about a fundamental principle that is worth pursuing OR a preference that is worthwhile to note but then move on.
Thank you Barry for this gift of discernment whenever I moderate a panel discussion!
What about you? What are some examples you have noticed when people either disagree in principle or preference? I would love to hear your panel discussion experiences and how you handled them whether you were a panel moderator or a panelist.
For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative leadership panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.