Want To Win? – Argue, Do Not Fight!
|What’s winning? Is it making the point you are right? Or, is it making the other guy do what you want him to do? I choose the later – making the other guy do what I want him to do. That is the true win for me. If this is the case with you too then you must learn how to argue, not to fight.||
| Jay Heinrich offers good distinction between fight and argument in his book Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us About the Art of Persuasion:
Win Customers – Argue, Don’t Fight
Consulting is all about conflict. Consultant’s goal is to either solve the problems or reveal latent ones. Problems are usually no fun for customers. Problems create tension that often leads to conflict. Consultant is always in epicenter of the conflict. Otherwise why call the consultant in first place? The basic question consultant should ask himself is "What do I want? Do I want to win or do I want to win a customer?". My answer is "Win a customer". To win a customer I follow another pattern presented in the book – virtue, practical wisdom, selflessness. More on the approach read What Aristotle Could Teach You About Consulting
Win Managers – Argue, Don’t Fight
Fighting your boss would be a …ehm serious career limiting move. I have done it – take my word for granted, it never works. Worse, it creates the atmosphere that is much less than inspiring (in case you stay with the position and not get fired).
What worked for me is arguing. Not always. At least I had a chance to present my take without major emotional losses and avoiding making more enemies. By "arguing" I mean applying the same basic principles of persuasion – virtue, practical wisdom, selflessness. If you hit the case of being saddled with a bad boss I suggest you go over this great article – How to Handle a Bad Boss. What worked especially great is "Don’t Act Immediately" and "Play the Game". Playing the game not only helped me to stay in the game but also persuade in some cases. Good stuff.
Win Kids – Argue, Don’t Fight
Kids are stubborn. Kids might sometimes drive you just nuts. They try out the boundaries, they try to take you over it. The natural reaction is "Stop doing it!", "No!", "Don’t!" in other words the natural reaction is fighting them. It is effective and it works but it leaves very bad taste in my mouth and it does not add to the kid’s self esteem. It also misses the great opportunity to teach and learn. What worked for me is arguing. Really. First I let my kids win a little by initially agreeing but then I develop an conversation trying to argue with her. Giving examples from previous experiences or making it up on the go. Hey! Aristotle could teach me a lot about how to be a good parent, eh?
Practice This – Get Results
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