- Don’t focus on winning or losing; focus on achieving objectives.
- Interrupting to make your point is pointless.
- Be smart not right. You aren’t finding the right answer; you’re searching for the better alternative.
- Focus on progress rather than perfect solutions.
- Trying to solve the past is futile; you can, however, move in better directions.
- Give ground on peripheral or non-essential points.
- Keep things simple. Complexity stalls solutions.
- Never tell someone what they think; ask them.
- Never let someone tell you what you think.
- Your “opponent” will use over-statements and unrealistic conclusions to invalidate your goals.
- Your opponent will make you angry. When they do, you lose.
- Keep an open posture.
- Remove barriers and obstacles. Create a clear path across the table or desk. Better yet step away from the desk.
- Physically align yourself with them. Rather than face-to-face, stand beside.
- Talk while taking a walk.
- Be pleasant but not jovial.
- When they raise their voice, lower yours.
- Use “and” more than “but” because “but” is an eraser. For example, I agree with you but…, diminish agreements.
- Show respect; don’t get personal.
- Identify your opponent’s objectives and agree where possible. Help them win before you win.
- Explore your opponent’s options.
- Address your opponent’s fears.
- Use experts and research.
- Speak to the heart – if they have one.
- Stay on point. Distractions are normal.
Bonus: Solve issues before arguments erupt.
Which point or points do you find most useful?
How do you “win” arguments?