Clear and effective communication is the key to navigating challenging workplace disagreements in a professional manner. In such situations, it’s important to be assertive, yet respectful of the opinions of others.

Here are four techniques to help you effectively work through challenging situations or disagreements in the workplace.

Talk Through the Disagreement

Be firm when communicating your position without alienating or disengaging the other person.

1) Start your argument with softening statements. This lets the other person know that you respect their opinion and position. For example: “I understand your position on this manner.”

2) State your opinion in an open and straightforward manner. For example: “This is why I think that this approach is better.”

3) Talk through the next steps and consider compromising. For example: “We need to decide quickly, however, perhaps we can organize a meeting to discuss each point of view further.”

Repeat your Position in Different Ways

When you need to be firm about your opinion or position, state your case clearly and concisely while demonstrating confidence and remaining calm. To reinforce your point of view, repeat your core argument in different ways using a pleasant but firm tone of voice.

Make your Arguments in the First Person

Using “I” statements to communicate your feelings on the subject makes it more likely for the other person to respond with respect. These first-person statements also give people clear, direct messages and help them understand how their actions affect your position and your feelings.

Be Firm when Saying “No”

Saying “no” firmly without offending the other person can be a challenge. When doing so, it’s important to offer an explanation that supports your decision to help the other person better understand why you’re making it. If possible, offer other solutions in lieu of their request to help accommodate their initial request.