So you have a problem with somebody. You want to address it with them, but you don’t want to hurt the relationship. You want to discuss something with them and make your case clearly and concisely.
This post is for you.
I have a few tips to get you started on building the perfectly worthy argument. I have a couple of argument cases I’m building up to share with family members and friends. All of these things I’ve found to be helpful in my search for “the right words”.
Do all the research before you start talking.
If you’re going to someone to tell them they’re wrong but you have no evidence, your argument is going to blow up in your face. It isn’t worthy. If you haven’t taken the time to research your position, your position isn’t worth sharing. It’s a lot easier to rant and rage about what you believe instead of looking into it.
Consider both sides and have a defense for yours.
This is sorely lacking in an argument. You need to consider what the other person’s defense might be. If you want to prove your way to be better, you need to know why and be able to show why. And you’re not going to be able to do that if you don’t know the opposition.
Listen to the opposition.
“Give it five minutes.”
— Jason Fried
Whatever you do, listen. Listen more than you talk. The other side’s words are just as important as yours. Consider them. Give it five minutes. After you’ve heard someone speak, think about it for five minutes before you respond.
Assume you could be wrong.
This is the hardest key to a worthy argument. It’s too easy to assume we’re right. Because if we’re not right, then why would we go through all the trouble of researching it, understanding the other position to defend ours? Because the point isn’t to be right; the point is to learn.
The most important value in teamwork is that it’s a team, working together. It’s not a leader blindly leading everyone.
The same principle applies to an argument. A worthy argument is really a discussion: an exchange of ideas, an exploration of other opinions, learning to see why you believe what you believe. I love talking to people who don’t have anything in common with me. Why? Because then I get to see another side to how I perceive the world. And I’m more assured of my belief. And if I’m not, then I change my belief.
How are you going to build a worthy argument today?