Do you experience gratitude on a regular basis?

Are you able to show appreciation, even if a conversation isn’t going your way?

Research shows that gratitude is incredibly powerful, not only for the person receiving it, also for the person giving it.

Even if you’re in disagreement, here is a way to keep conversations productive, and ensure relationships stay in tact.

When using this approach you create warm interactions, have more productive conversations, and allow people to feel more heard. By increasing the ‘gratitude muscle’ you will have fewer unpleasant disagreements and better relationships.

Here is how it works…

Set up a scene where person A & B disagree. Let’s say person A kicks off the conversation and presents their argument. Person B would then start with, “Thank you because…”(stating something they appreciate or are genuinely grateful for about what person A has just said) followed by their contradictory point of view.

This goes back and forth until both parties feel satisfied.

It’s like adding a spoonful of sugar to the medicine! It takes away that bitter taste.

Here are 3 versions you may want to try:

“What I like about that is…”
“What I appreciate about that is…”
“Thank you because…”

For example:

Person A: “Juliana, you arrive at least 10 minutes late most days, and it’s just not fair on the rest of the team!”

Person B: “Thank you because it’s reassuring to know you’ll express your frustration when you feel it. Unfortunately, I have to get the later train Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when I drop off my child.”

Person A: “Thank you because I hadn’t realised this is the reason you’ve been coming in late. I’d like to talk about how we can still make this work for you and reduce the frustration others are feeling…” (Person A adds an appreciation, based on what Person B has just said).

Check out the following article for rules about arguing with kindness and care.


“…Making every effort to understand an opposing position will only help us better consider and present our own case, if it doesn’t succeed in changing our minds…”

If you want to use a more robust approach for neutralizing conflict, check out Dennett’s four step process:

  1. Attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly and fairly that your target says: “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”
  2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

Good luck and happy Partnering!