5 Things successful people do in arguments

Health Industry Hub | June 13, 2019 |
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Situations at work and at home can make you angry. Your colleague made your idea their own and got credit for it. A neighbour’s tree fell in your yard and damaged your fence. How would you discuss it with them?

When you are angry, you can get caught up in the heat of the moment and communicate in a way that is too emotional and ultimately less effective. When emotions run wild, people tend to disregard facts and undermine their ultimate goal in engaging in communication.

To achieve what you want, you need the other party to cooperate. You want to be cordial but not too nice. The other party might see you as a doormat and think they can walk all over you. Successful people get their point across by being direct and matter-of-fact. Here are five tips to help you communicate effectively in an argument and hold your own:

  1. Stick to the facts. Ask yourself whether you are communicating a fact or an opinion. Stick to the facts. With arguments, being objective is more powerful and effective than being subjective. If the sentence or phrase is an opinion, make it clear that this is something you feel. To maintain credibility, avoid stating opinions that could sound like you believe them to be facts.
  2. Don’t tell the person what to do. No one likes to be ordered around. Don’t give orders. Avoid words like “must,” “need” or “should.”
  3. Strike out some uses of the word “you.” The more you use the word “you,” the more accusatory the communication sounds. If your communication is in writing, read what you have written to see where you use the word “you.” Can you edit the sentence to eliminate the word? Also, make sure attributions are accurate. Ask yourself, “Did this person really say this or do that?”
  4. Remember what your goal is. Successful people ask themselves, “What do I want out of this exchange?” Remind yourself that there is a bigger picture, and put the issue into perspective. Even if you are right, is proving that you are right the most important thing to focus on? Focus on what you want to ultimately achieve.
  5. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their reaction. Think about the person on the other side. How would the person react to what is being said? Consider the overall tone of the communication. Successful people know that opinions, orders or threats rarely get results. To achieve their goals, successful people stick to the facts, avoid orders, decrease the usage of the word “you,” remember their goal and think about how the other person will react. This takes discipline, and discipline is what will help you effectively resolve disputes.


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