While many work meetings can pass without incident, sometimes passions can get heated and arguments occur. These shouldn’t be discouraged as a well-managed and friendly disagreement can help solve a problem.
But if you want to make sure you’re getting your point across, following these 7 tips…
1. Know why you’re arguing
It may sound like a silly thing but knowing why you’re arguing is important – do you just want to win or do you actually want to solve the problem.
It may be that you are in fact in the wrong and should concede defeat for the greater good. Always be willing to acknowledge this.
2. Use your anger
It’s natural and right to feel angry if someone is saying something you profoundly disagree with or believe to be untrue. But it’s how you express this anger that matters.
Remain calm – once you start shouting and swearing you’ve lost the moral high ground and with it the argument. But if you argue with passion you may well come out on top.
3. Make your points count
While getting what you want is all well and good, you’re more likely to win the argument if you come up with reasons why your point of view actually helps everyone in the room – or at least the majority.
Have solid, real-life examples to help back up your case.
4. Know your stuff
If you’re going to get your point across, you need to know your stuff and be able to access it in an instant.
If you feel that the other person has more expertise in this area, you might have to back down and regroup. Even if you feel you’re in the right, their knowledge of the subject might be enough to win over the room.
5. Speak at the right time
Part of your technique should be to keep the discussion calm and level-headed. By interrupting or talking over people you’ll end up making things worse. You might have a colleague who just won’t shut up, so wait for them to calm them down and say that others might want to have a say.
By letting them rant and have their say, you’ll have a greater idea of what it is they want and you’ll be in a better position to respond. If you show flexibility and that you’re willing to listen, the other people in the room will respond likewise.
6. Look for back-up
You have to get the room on your side – know who your allies are, or at least people in the room who you feel understand your side of the argument. Having two voices instead of one is a powerful arguing tool.
It also means that if you come unstuck and are unable to quickly respond, they might be able to step in, keeping the momentum going in your direction.
7. Don’t take it personally
It’s about business – at the end of the day you should go home and forget you ever had the argument.
If however, they make it personal, it’ll be clear to everyone present that they’ve lost the argument and have resorted to name calling.
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp
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