We often encounter situations where in we disagree with others, our views just do not match, we tend to fight over simplest of disagreements, unable to understand why the other person think the way he/she does, in understanding complaints, in getting people understanding our problem, point of view and also in letting our voice stand out.
We get so engrossed in proving our point and in wanting the other person to be proved wrong that we forget that we a losing a lot. We may lose a friend, customers, trust of the team, our children or our spouse, sore our cherished relationships and the list may go on.
It is important for us to understand the value of learning to deal with people and their emotions, to learn the art of human relationship and importance of interpersonal communication.
Here the Golden rule is “The Best way to win an argument is to avoid it!”
Ahh well this is weird but why can’t we just not get into argument stuff in the first place! Well this sounds difficult for our ‘ego’ , ‘public image’ , ‘reputation’ etc but if you can manage to not get into arguments and try to influence people into getting to think the way you do – you can be a lot more successful, not only professionally but also in your personal relationships as well.
This requires a great deal of working on yourself to develop some habits and will also require a lot of time and effort to get it in to your system but if you manage to do so, we are sure that the results would follow.
Here are some quick tips we found to be helpful in doing so -
a. Welcome the disagreement - aim towards a discussion.
b. Listen to the other person first – do not just interfere and keep speaking what you think.
c. Avoid trusting your first instinctive reaction
d. Control your temper and watch your tone!
e. Look for areas of agreement to get to a friendly ground.
f. Be honest
g. Think over the other persons point of view and carefully try to understand his/her case - keep your mind open
h. Avoid getting to conclusions then and there, give and take time to get more perspective and think through the problem - Don't rush to conclude and make an opinion.
i. Accept your mistake
Let us understand some of the important mantras below, and work towards cultivating this life enriching habit!
1. Understanding the other persons point of view – A formula to swear by.
Try honestly to look things from the other persons perspective. There is a reason why people think the way they do. They may be totally wrong, but they don’t think so!
Only the wise and tolerant people can put themselves in the place of others.
Only they can stop and think how they would react had they been in that place or those circumstances. We all have heard of the popular phrase by Rachel Grady “Always put yourself in others' shoes. If you feel that it hurts you, it probably hurts the other person, too.”
Cooperativeness in conversation can be achieved if you consider the other person’s ideas and feeling as important as their own.
Giving the other person the purpose or direction to the conversation, having an open mind for understanding the others views and idea can work a great deal in establishing a successful conversation.
2. Be diplomatic – don’t just get into proving the obvious or yourself right!
It is always about respecting the other persons views, never just bluntly say “you’re wrong” though they may be. It is important to find a middle path; it is important to be diplomatic.
Even if you are sure that you are 100% right, why do you even want to prove it? You know you are right anyways. Somewhere even the other person may also buy your point, but not always will he be liking to be proved wrong.
All this will lead to is more conflict and hard feelings. Why not just try and be okay with accepting and respecting what the other person thinks! You are not looking to change the persons point of view – just think, can you?
Just put your point out there if it is important to and try to convey yourself in the politest way possible. It is the only thing in your control.
Even if the other person does not agree with you - let him not. You are not in it change what the other thinks - If you can, then kudos! but if you cannot just let it be. Gracefully exit by not making the other feel that they are wrong.
3. If you are wrong – admit it!
If you are wrong, you are wrong and there must not be any apprehension in accepting it.
It is utmost important to admit to your mistakes quickly and emphatically. This helps you earn respect and acceptance.
In words of Dale Carnegie – “Any fool can try to defend his/her mistakes – and most fools do – but it raises one above the herd and gives on a feeling of nobility and exultation to admit one’s mistake.”
When you do so the other person would also start accepting his mistakes, if any and you will find that gradually both of you would start understanding each other better which may result in the end of the argument.
4. Be Friendly – Be Polite - Add that drop of honey!
It is obvious for you to lose your temper and be rude especially when the other person is attacking your esteem and dignity or when you know the person is wrong. But think over, where would this lead to? Will there be any positive outcomes?
You will just be making a lifelong enemy and attracting all the negativity!
Why not just be calm, polite and maintain your dignity. Why not consider the other person a friend and add a drop of honey to your words? Get your charm, spot on! "Be hearty in approbation and lavish in praise" but be genuine about it!
You will only gain by doing so. You automatically put yourself on a higher pedestal by being the wiser one. A sincere appreciation can do wonders and help you in developing meaningful and healthy conversations.
Try this out – It will always works by mind you, however simple it may seem – it is quite difficult to do so.
Addition tip here – Try starting your conversations with getting the person say ‘yes’ to something obvious to getting a ‘yes’ in response.
5. Make the other person feel important – Give them what they want – Be Sympathetic!
Understanding, respecting and being sympathetic to others viewpoint may all seem to be the same thing, but they are not!
Sympathy is one thing every human desire, everybody want other to understand their struggles, issues and problems, their circumstances, to know how difficult it is for them to be what they are. Just give them the sympathy they want. Genuinely try to be empathetic towards them.
Give them the attention they need. Make them feel special. This would give you a whole lot of other benefits.
We know this may sound superficial and mechanic but genuinely try to be the person who values the other and trust us you would get the invaluable lifelong relationship which you would cherish!
6. Be an exceptional listener!
Let the other person do the talking, let them just say what they want. Lend them your ears. Don’t rush to just prove them wrong or yourself right.
Many a times when you get the other person talk, let them say what they want you will realize that they themselves may come up with the solutions to their own problems or complaints that they may have. They may indeed themselves get the answers and may also realize their own mistakes, if any.
You may not even have to explain anything!
With whole lot of honesty and sincerity, listen to them - do not just hear!
Give them complete attention and make them feel heard – the results would follow.
Remember an old proverb: ‘By fighting you never get enough, but by yielding you get more than you expected’.
**This Blog is inspired by our learning from Dale Carnegie’s popular book: How to win Friends and Influence People.
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