#13 The Art of Winning an Argument.
The first rule - The only way to win an argument is to avoid it.
The second rule - There’s a thin line between argument or a discussion.
Follow these principles to switch from argument to a discussion:
Forget your preconceived ideas.
You never know what kind of background the other person has. They might have completely different experience from yours. Be warm and receptive of their opinion.
Shut up and listen.
Listen and get to know the WHY behind their opinion. Our job is to let them know that we take their opinion into account.
If you disagree, take responsibility for your own feelings.
If you start with “You” people might take it as an attack and they automatically start attacking right back at you. As you know, the best defence is offence.
Soften your opinion.
Say “I really respect your opinion” or “I get what you mean” to ease up your opinion and intro to your idea.
Keep in mind that your goal is to convince and persuade people to agree with your opinion. “Pissing” on people and making your sarcastic jokes won’t help you in this case. There’s no way to persuade people if you force your ideas on people.
Delete “but” and “however” from your vocabulary.
Saying that I really respect your opinion, BUT…….won't do anything for you. You’re basically saying that their idea means jack shit. It’s just a nicer way to say it, but the point is the same. Instead of “BUT” and “HOWEVER”, use “AND” + adding something to smooth it. How about “What would happen, if…..”, Have you ever thought…” or “How would you like…”.
Add facts to your opinions.
Leave emotions out of it. Just find some facts and proof to confirm your ideas and opinions.
Save your opponent from humiliation.
Always acknowledge people and say why you value their individuality. It’s important that you stay humble and won’t depreciate people even if they’re wrong. Powerplay won’t work.
Be aware of your opponents sensitivity towards that subject.
Some people are very sensitive and get very defensive if their ideas won’t be accepted.
Instead of emphasising on the points you don’t agree with, say thank you for all the comments and critical points they have brought up. Right after that ask questions about the points or topics you don’t agree with.
Give your opponent a chance to solve the situation.
By asking “ What can you do to change or solve the situation” you will allow them to find their own solution. People are more welcoming waking their own advice than yours. It also confirms that you believe in them and trust them to make their own decisions to solve different issues.
Just don’t say “Hey Rick, you suck”, but bring up specific parts of their ideas work that you are not satisfied with and ask. “What can you do to solve those issues?” Let them come up with their own solutions and say that you are there for them if they need any assistance.
End it on a positive note.
Hear what they come up with and if you hear the right solutions for you, say. “I’m sure that you can handle it and those issues won’t appear no more.” I really appreciate everything that you do for us and this confirms that my faith in you is not baseless. If you don’t like their solution, keep asking how they can come up with something you like. Work together on this.
Give constructive criticism.
Nobody likes criticism, but constructive criticism and being political with it can go for a mile.
Follow these steps:
Make sure that you have all the facts.
Deal with it right away and privately.
Focus on the situation, not the person.
Make a sincere compliment.
Show understanding and then criticise. Bring in your own experience and previous mistakes on the same subject and say what you did to overcome those issues.
Ask questions and give advice. Don’t make demands.
Show that changing their actions will have a really positive impact.
End on a positive note and create a plan to solve the issues.