(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

Admit has a sense of wrongdoing; a confession; a coming clean. One admits to a crime. Probably useful in many situations but notice there’s a bit of less-than in admitting. When I admit something to you, I can be holding myself in an inferior position. Not always, but usually. Thus admitting – as an energy, a come-from, a position – does not support powerful communications and connections.

To agree is to let someone know they are being heard. When I have shifted my view to agree with what you say without slipping into admitting I-was-wrong it keeps the space open for more learning… by both of us!

Admitting leaves us separated. Agreeing brings us together.

Nobody knows everything. We can, if we want, continue to learn and grow. To discover a new idea; to awaken to a different viewpoint; to find common ground; these are the things which lift us all.

Coaching Point: What would happen if you never required someone to admit they were ‘wrong’? What if you lived in the joy of reaching agreement?

Copyright 2019 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.