We have heard that agreeing with people is a way to defuse conflict. And we have taken it so far that the words I agree are two of the most used in companies.
Of course, they are mostly misused.
They are often an easy way to gain some short-term sympathy, to prime the others to positivity, to prepare the ground for what you are going to say next. They are a delay to the inevitable.
I agree, but.
To come to a real agreement implies that you are going to at least slightly change your perspective. It means the actions that follow I agree actually show that you are in agreement. It means that you are ready to support what the other just said, even outside the current conversation.
If instead you are just preparing the ground for disagreement, be brave enough to own it and say I disagree instead.
I agree, but erodes trust, openness, and candor.
It is just not worth it.