COMMUNICATON & 9 Rules of Winning Arguments

by Bill Murphy Jr., Inc. Magazine, n.d.

… This is a story about emotional intelligenceand winning arguments. If you find it convincing, I hope you’ll check out my free ebook, Improving Emotional Intelligence 2021, which you can download here

Rule #1:     Before you start arguing, decide how you want it to end.

But like so many things in life, people often fail miserably here because they haven’t taken the time to think deeply about what success would look like. (Put differently: Follow the Z-Y-X Rule.)

Rule #2:    Think how you can make it end well for the other side.

Rule #3:    Control the circumstances.

When are you talking? How are you talking? Who’s initiating the call or traveling to the other person’s location? Is this all over email or text? Are other people listening in?

Rule #4:    Control the emotions.

But also, keep an eye on the other person’s emotions.

Rule #5:    Do not skip the small talk.

Your small talk might be brief, but it’s nevertheless important. It’s an early opportunity to find common ground.

Rule #6: Adjust (not react) in real time.

Rule #7:    Listen — and look as if you’re listening.

Perception is important. Even if you’re a pro at multitasking, think through what it looks like if you check your phone five times during the discussion, or if your assistant interrupts you twice to ask you questions.

Rule #8:    If you interrupt, do so strategically.

“Think about how you strategically interrupt,” suggested O’Shea Brown. “Maybe, ‘I hear you have a lot to say in regard to your feelings. We both want a solution, so let’s pivot toward solutions.’ Your tone is everything. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, they might not remember what you said, and they might not remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.”

Rule #9:    Seek to understand

Tactically speaking: Ask open-ended questions, and even repeat back to the other person some of what they say. You want to know where they’re coming from so that you can better articulate your own points, and improve the odds of emerging closer to your goals.

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