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How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

Don’t

  1. Get personal. Attack the issue, not the person. 
  2. Get distracted by new and extraneous themes. 
  3. Water down your strong arguments with weak ones.

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How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

How to Win an Argument - Dos, Don'ts and Sneaky Tactics

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/how-to-win-arguments-dos-donts-and-sneaky-tactics.html

lifehack.org

4

Key Ideas

Do

  1. Stay calm. If you lose your temper – you lose.
  2. Use facts as evidence for your position.
  3. Ask questions. 
  4. Use logic to undermine your opponent.
  5. Appeal to worthy motives that are hard to disagree with.
  6. Listen carefully.
  7. Be prepared to concede a good point. 
  8. Study your opponent. You can appeal to their higher values or exploit their weaknesses.
  9. Look for a win-win. Be open-minded to a compromise position.

Don’t

  1. Get personal. Attack the issue, not the person. 
  2. Get distracted by new and extraneous themes. 
  3. Water down your strong arguments with weak ones.

Sneaky Ways to Consider

  1. Use punchy one-liners, like: That begs the question. That is beside the point. You’re being defensive. Don’t compare apples and oranges.
  2. Ridicule and humiliate your opponent. This can be very effective in front of an audience.
  3. Deliberately provoke your adversary until they lose their temper and so the argument.
  4. Throw in diversions that deflect the other person from their main point.
  5. Exaggerate your opponent’s position and then show how ridiculous and unreasonable the exaggerated position is.
  6. Vigorously denounce each of your opponent’s arguments as fallacious but just select one or two that you can defeat to prove the point. Then assume that you have won.

Arguments between two people

They are very different from a debate in front of an audience.

  • You are trying to win over the other person, so look for ways of building consensus and do not be belligerent in making your points.
  • In front of an audience, you can use all sorts of theatrical and rhetorical devices to bolster your case and belittle your adversary.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Psychology Of Behavior

In trying to change a behavior, reason will take you only so far, incentives must be taken into account as well. 

In psychology, operant conditioning is a type of learning in whi...

Continuous Versus Intermittent Reinforcement

Studies on reinforcement revealed that the best way for us to learn complex behaviors is via continuous reinforcement, in which the desired behavior is rewarded every time it’s performed. Consistency and timing are the keys.

Nonetheless, some argue that intermittent reinforcement is the most efficient way to maintain an already learnt behavior. It consists of giving reinforcement only some of the times that the desired behavior occurs.

The Benefits Of Intermittent Reinforcement
  • Rewarding the behavior immediately may take time away from the behavior’s continuation.
  • It’s cheaper not to reward every instance of a desired behavior.
  • By making the rewards unpredictable, you trigger excitement and thus get an increase in response without increasing the amount of reinforcement.
  • Since the person is already adapted to not always being rewarded, they take longer to stopping the behavior when reinforcement is removed.

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Ask for their point of view

To gain trust and build rapport, you need to hear out what the other person thinks without interrupting or disagreeing.

Try asking open-ended questions, like: "Why do you think that...

Mirror your opponent

If you mimic your opponent (in a subtle way), they are more likely to believe you.

For example, if they are sitting cross-legged, wait a few seconds and cross your legs too. And make sure that what you are doing is not too obvious.

Make direct eye contact

...while you listen. This makes the speaker's arguments less persuasive, which makes your opinion look strong.

Fix the speaker in your sight as soon as they start speaking.

4 more ideas

Dale Carnegie

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatur..."

Dale Carnegie
Handling People
  • Don’t criticize, condemn or complain. People learn faster and retain knowledge more effectively when rewarded for good behavior than punished for bad behavior.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation. The only way to get a person to do anything is by giving them what they want.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want. The only way to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.
Appreciation and flattery
  • Flattery is selfish and insincere. It’s cheap praise. You tell the other person precisely what he thinks about himself.
  • Appreciation is unselfish and sincere. It happens when we stop thinking about ourselves and begin to think of the other person’s good points.

4 more ideas

Confront Bullies, Safely
Confront Bullies, Safely

Manipulators become bullies when they intimidate or harms others, and pick on people they perceive as weaker. But standing up to bullies often cause them to retreat. 

When conf...

Set Consequences

When a psychological manipulator insists on violating your boundaries, and won’t take “no” for an answer, deploy consequence.

Effectively articulated, consequence gives pause to the manipulative individual, and compels her or him to shift from violation to respect.

Know How To Say “No”

Diplomatically but firmly. A well articulated “no” allows you to stand your ground while maintaining a workable relationship. 

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Taking cues from you

When children witness a parent in a state of anxiety, they can become unsettled, because they take information about how to interpret situations from the parent.

If you notice your child sho...

Learn stress management techniques

A big part of treatment for children with anxiety is to teach parents stress tolerance.

A mental health professional can help you work through methods of stress management for your specific needs.

Model stress tolerance

You might learn strategies in therapy that you can impart to your child when she is feeling anxious.

Try to maintain a calm, neutral demeanor in front of your child, even if you are still trying to manage your anxiety. Children are quick to read facial expressions.

3 more ideas

The negativity bias
The negativity bias

We have the tendency to give more weight in our minds to things that go wrong than to things that go right—so much so that just one negative event can hijack our minds in ways that can be detriment...

Findings about the negativity bias
  • We get upset when someone doesn't fulfill a promise. However, if they do more than promised, we're not grateful enough for it.
  • People learn more and faster from punishment and reward. If you have to pick one, negative feedback stimulates learning faster than positive feedback.
The Negative Golden Rule

Do not do unto others what you do not want to be done unto you.

It is about focusing on eliminating the negative more than encouraging the positive. Because there’s abundant evidence from multiple sources that relationships are far more strongly affected by negative things than positive things.

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Convince Them With Confidence
  • Speak confidently, be concise, and try not to repeat yourself. 
  • Give the appearance that you truly know what’s right from the beginning, even if you don’t have all o...
Avoid Common Argument Fallacies

Winning an argument often comes down to who can go the longest without contradicting themselves and keeping sound logic, not direct persuasion of the other party.

Anecdotal Fallacy

Using a single personal experience as the foundation of your argument or your big piece of evidence. 

For example, your phone may have broken right after you bought it, but you can’t use that to argue that those phones are not worth the purchase for others.

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“In crisis situations, emotions can dictate a person’s actions at the detriment of rational thinking.”

Jeff Thompson

"We all need to be good listeners and learn to demonstrate our empathy and understanding of the problems, needs, and issues of others. Only then can we hope to influence their behavior in a positive way.”

"We all need to be good listeners and learn to demonstrate our empathy and understanding of the problems, needs, and issues of others. Only then can we hope to influence their behavior in a positive way.”

The Goal In Law Enforcement Hostage Crisis Situations

To use communication skills to get a person to change from a negative behavior to a more desirable one.

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Strong emotions as a puzzle

Instead of viewing someone’s bad mood as a problem to be fixed, if your perspective slightly and try to see it as a puzzle.

When you shift from problem-thinking to puzzle-thinking, your mi...

Reverse empathy

Rather than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, try to remember a time when you wore the same shoe.

Try to recall a time when you struggled in a similar way and with a similar set of difficult emotions and moods. It's a powerful way to appreciate someone else struggle.

Get out of the “Fix-it Mode”

Most people struggling emotionally don’t want someone to fix their pain, they went to feel understood.

Use Reflective listening. It means that when someone tells you something, you simply reflect back to them what they said, either literally or with your own slight spin on it.

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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...
Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.
Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

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