No One Really Wins in an Argument
Section three in Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People covers the topic of winning people over to your way of thinking. There’s a heavy emphasis on arguments. Carnegie doesn’t actually believe in arguing. He’s better than most of us. But he does realize that we all have disagreements. He gives recommendations on how we can “fight” without every truly getting mad. Let’s break down four of them. You’ll have to pick up the book for the other tips.
Never tell them that they’re wrong
Resisting the urge to be right and bask in your rightness is a short-sighted victory. When you tell someone that they wrong they rush into defense mode and tension escalates. Carnegie recommends that you go into the situation acknowledging that you yourself may be, wrong. With that thought in mind, ask the other person to examine the facts. Through this humble approach, the other person opens up to examining the flaws in their own argument. From there, they will reach their own conclusions without any brash accusations from you.
Admit when you’re wrong
After you’ve examined the facts together, you may realize that your own argument may be flawed. It’s time to acknowledge it. Here’s is where many adults struggle. Naturally we want to avoid the humiliation of being wrong. However, when we acknowledge our shortcomings and even apologize for them, we will likely welcome a more forgiving attitude from the other person. This will minimize the chances for resentment.
Allow the other person to feel that the idea is their own
Dale Carnegie says this is achieved by honestly seeing things from the other person’s point of view. This skill is a major key to neutralizing a potentially fiery argument. It’s an advanced Dale Carnegie tip that we touch on the Dale Carnegie Training Courses. Letting another person think the solution is their idea is absolute gold when it comes to arguments because it greatly reduces the chances for bad blood when the fight is over. Everyone believes that they’ve won once you’ve mastered this art.
Let the other person do the majority of the talking
Letting the other person do the majority of the talking is a simple principle that gets lost in an argument more often than not. Remembering this will keep the disagreement from elevating to a shouting match. People love to hear themselves talk and appreciate having the opportunity to express themselves. Regardless of the outcome, if the other person has had the opportunity to get it all off their chest, they will leave the situation feeling better about themselves and you.
We’ve only scratched the surface of this topic. Dale Carnegie gives 8 other tips that have changed the way people “argue” as leaders. Through this strategy, most professionals walk away learning that no one really wins an argument at all. If you’re interested in turning your arguments into constructive disagreements, consider grabbing a seat in the Dale Carnegie Training Course while seats are available. Many of his Golden Rules will be instilled in you in a real-life way so that you may never truly lose an argument again.
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