Are you sick of losing? Arguments, that you should win are lost because…………… well, you just can’t put your finger on it. But you always lose.
Remember, that when you’re arguing, debating, negotiating – whatever you chose to call it – there are a number of factors operating which we’re not always in control. You not only need to have a great arguement, but you also need to deliver it in a great way. The opposition must see that you are confident in your position and that arguing with you is counterproductive. You also have deal with the emotional trauma that accompanies fierce debate. And, let’s face it, some of us crumble when the idea of confrontation rears its ugly head.
However, do not lose heart because our next Total Success webinar is packed with tips and techniques that will help you win your next confrontation. It’s delivered by Warren Wint, mediator and ex sales director who will give you lots of examples and stories along with 30 years of winning strategies to help you succeed. Good luck (But then again, winners don’t need luck. Do they?)
7 Rules To Win Every Argument
Here are the 7 golden rules to winning arguments.
1. Know what you want
This is not the same as knowing what you don’t want or like. If you are not absolutely sure of what you want, and are not precise in conveying that information to difficult people, then you should never be disappointed when you get exactly what you don’t want.
Phrase your needs in positive language so that you don’t produce a negative reaction. Positive outcomes are easier to deliver and conversely easier to accept because you don’t have to automatically defend yourself. Research from the Huthwaite organization shows that a skilled negotiator is three times less likely to use comments that are recognisable as “defending” or “attacking”
2. Get your cards on the table
This is a great technique especially if your new to negotiating or not confident in your negotiating your position. It means setting the terms of the negotiation upfront or ‘anchoring’ your demands. Whoever makes the first move – whether a suggestion for a solution or an offer – comes out ahead. That is, the resolution ends up being closer to their original position. Why? Because they’ve set the anchor point for the conversation.” Multiple studies have found that initial offers have a stronger influence on the outcome of negotiations than subsequent counteroffers. So, if you’re arguing over something you specifically want say it first and jump in deep with what you want rather than coming around to it slowly. For example, you’re negotiating a pay rise of £5000 – If you start with a statement of ‘How much could you afford to increase my salary?’ compared with ‘I think that a raise of £5000 is fair for the extra work I do’. Which one do you think will get you a better result. Exactly!!!!!
3. Keep your calm
If you stat arguments in a strong or aggressive manner can in fact weaken your position in other people’s eyes rather than convincing them of your viewpoint.
Research by Cornell University concluded that people are switched off by harsh sounding words: “Using ‘calm’ language to make a point is more effective than swearing or using aggressive terms. If you start your argument with words that challenge or attack automatically produce a defence type mechanism from the other party which leads them to panic and produce a classic ‘fight or flight’ mechanism.
4. Relate using questions that understand.
We call this the ‘Socratic Method’. This means questioning people in order to think critically about different view-points. Still sound complicated? Say your colleague is upset that you decided not to give them help with their project due to time issues. Rather than engaging in an argument where you deny all accusations levelled at you, instead ask questions like, “How does that make you feel?”, “What would you rather I did?”
This works on two levels. Firstly, you let your colleague express how they feel, which means they’re releasing resentment rather than bottling it up. Secondly it shows that you’re listening and bothered about how someone else feels making them feel considered.
5. Respect your opponent
Many arguments have no clear victors: You may get your way, but your relationship or situation is the worse for it. A successful argument within a relationship remains compartmentalized. Don’t let it lead to questioning the entire basis of the relationship. By the same token, don’t insult or degrade your opponent. Even if the individual is someone you’ll never see again, it’s still important to show that you meant “nothing personal” in the dispute.
Say something like;
“Please correct me if I’m wrong.”
“We appreciate what you’ve done for us.”
“Our concern is fairness. We want the best for both sides.”
“Could I ask you a few questions to see whether my facts are right?”
6. Be ready to see the other person’s perspective
You don’t have to agree with someone in order to see his or her perspective. However, if you want to win an argument, you do need to be able to see the world through their eyes. Stepping into the mental set of those you argue with allows you to figure out what’s influencing them. Perhaps they’re feeling threatened, anxious, or annoyed. Perhaps they know something that you don’t. In any case, showing empathy will lower the temperature of the debate and allow both of you to come to resolution. Ask yourself the question; ‘Why don’t I see this from her perspective?’ or ‘Why don’t they see this from my perspective?’. These questions allow you to step back and gain perspective.
7. Always remain hopeful that the argument can be resolved.
Arguments, by definition, involve negative emotions. In the midst of a screaming fest, it might be hard to see yourself coming out on the other side with your dignity intact. However, invoking the feeling of hope allows you to think more clearly, leading to the possibility that you’ll win by sheer force of logic. Hope allows you to “come up with creative solutions to the disputes at the core of the conflict”. In other words, you may see a way out of what seems to be a locked battle of wills once you believe that there is a way out. This is what happens in ordinary problem-solving, when thinking outside of the box can help all sides come up with a solution. Such an “aha” moment in an argument can lead you straight to victory.