An argument is a statement or multiple statements to support another statement or the premise. A statement can be true or false. An argument can be valid or invalid. If the premise is true, then the conclusion must be true. Remember this? All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal. We are all human and we have different opinions and we sort it out by entering a verbal discussion, the argument. This is not a war. We are all learning from each other. When it is a heated argument you need conflict resolution. Now let’s start with finding a solution to a problem…
It will be helpful when both parties agree that an argument is to explore the views of each other. Winning should not be the goal. It should be understanding from both parties to find the best solution for the e.g. problem/issue/statement.
Huffington post, (2015) 5 Tips to property argue your point is handy. To these I will add my notes.
- Argue the point, not the person. Please view my previous blog posts for more information on this point.
- Use data and research as much as you can. Indeed. If you are making a claim, you must prove it, ALWAYS. The intention with background facts is to illuminate the issue. Refrain from saying “you are defensive.” This comment is only showing ignorance. Facts to illustrate or give background information are just that – Facts. The Business Dictionary has a good definition of fact: “Event, item of information, or state of affairs existing, observed, or known to have happened, and which is confirmed or validated to such an extent that it is considered ‘reality.’ See also assumption, rule of thumb, and science.
- Don’t put words into your opponent’s mouth. Or assume you know what they think, feel etc. You lack the qualifications to analyse the character of the other person. This will not help or forward your argument. As I have reasoned before, it can only harm your integrity.
- Don’t go on a tangent. Stay on point irrespective what the other person throws at you. If they don’t hit the target, bring them back to point. If their arrows are intended to hurt you, sidestep it if you can. This is sometimes very hard, I know.
- Stay positive, polite, and professional. I agree.
There are many sleaze-ball ways on the Internet on how to “WIN” an argument. Is that really what you want? I knowledgeable person will look right through these tactics and where is that going to leave you?
Another way to flex your reasoning skills is to invest time to study critical thinking.
If time is in short supply, learning how to frame your questions will also help to guide you in reaching a solution in an argument. The Internet has many lists of useful questions. If that is not an option remember to ask “How, Why and What.” Call us today
The “Do your job” philosophy
No excuse will work if you don’t do your job. No tactic in any book will give you the edge. Do your job, that is your protection.
This is the issue: Certain work must be delivered in 24-48 hours. One person is constantly not complying.Geographically the parties are on opposite ends of the world. All communication is by email.
A – went to great lengths with this person during onboarding in zoom chats etc explaining what the organisation is all about.
A – emailed and asked for the work to be delivered.
B – answered by making excuses and trying to deflect by pleading ignorance on where to find the information. Then this person complained about the tone. For A the tone of the email was neural: It was framed like this. Here are facts, please comply. If not possible how can I help you?
Nothing happened and A had to request the same work again, this time referring to the values the organisation. In the mean time A received 3 complaints of other people regarding B’s lack of consideration and respect.
A – emailed again, this time referring to the breach of values and how it is perceived by the organisation.
B – responded with more name calling. This person also makes a point to remind A of how “important” they are etc. This reference to status is a bit of a joke.
Did B address the issue at all. No. In the last email this promise that the outstanding work will be delivered but the 3 people are still waiting.
This is so typical in business. In my opinion we don’t have to massage the “egos” of colleagues. “Do your work”, I often want to cry out. That is the bare minimum required from you!
It is not that the rules of the “game/work” were unknown. Every person in the organisations are aware of the “game plan” as they agreed to it verbally at the induction ceremony. Each person knew exactly what is at stake as the common and personal goal. The personal goal is set by each person. The person is failing in fundamentals and refuse to deliver. This person also failed to create trust and confidence.
Yes, niceties are great but not when one person refuse to do what he/she is supposed to do. Then it is time to remember the Brene Brown Quote in Dare to Lead on page 41: There’s probably not a single act at work that requires more vulnerability than holding people responsible for ethics and values, especially when your’re alone in it or there’s a lot of money, power, or influence at stake. People will put you down, question your intentions, hate you, and sometimes try to discredit you in the process of protecting themselves.”
My solution? Keep the goal and the reason for the communication in mind. Your point is valid. Show the other person where you can that they are missing the point. Only if these people are important to you. Learn how to use your words in such a way that people listen to you.
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