How to WIN any argument
Tussling with colleagues over a work-related project? Battling an opinionated acquaintance? Sparring with a stranger at a social event? We’ve got you covered. Toughing out an argument and winning it takes skill, expertise, and verbal finesse and we have the tools to make you a pro. Use these pro tips to WIN any argument in any situation and walk away unscathed.
Know your stuff:
The spine of an argument is the facts, research, or figures. You may not be able to have them all at your fingertips in every situation but take the time to prepare if you’re going to be arguing at work. In social settings, have a broad-spectrum view of data that will help back up your position. Even better, cite evidence and data that comes from diverse institutions and sources. You could use published research, journalism, historical sources, or audio-visual data to help build your argument. Remember that doing your homework is half the battle.
Be passionate, but don’t lose control:
Being passionate is often mistaken as a weakness. On the contrary, it can reinforce your position provided you’ve followed step one and done your research. However, remember to follow the golden rules: Don’t lose your temper, don’t be impolite or disrespectful, and stay on top of your emotions. Your opponent will be more likely to listen to you.
Don’t make the mistake of getting locked in a battle of wills. Try to hear your opponent out. If you simply can’t come around to their way of thinking, ask why they hold the position that they do. In many cases, people’s experiences and exposure inform their opinions. Look at the issue from the perspective of the person you’re arguing with. Besides giving you insight, this will disarm your opponent and they will be more open to resolving the conflict or coming to a solution.
Ask questions and build your argument from the ground up:
Put your opponent on the spot and ask direct questions. Then use logic to show how one idea builds on the other and lead the argument to what will be its inevitable conclusion. Think of your argument as a building: the foundation is the evidence and data and logic is the construction tool.