What is your first reaction when find that someone disagrees with you? Do you try to overpower them with your words? Do you simply give up?
New research tells us that there is a proven and effective way to communicate during an argument. Follow the results of this research and others will be far more likely to understand and sympathize with your perspective.
Know the opposing viewpoint.
Expand your mind to see things from the alternate point of view before committing to yours. The more well-informed you are on both sides of the disagreement, the more credible you will be. By covering all your bases, you’ll ensure that you will sound less disagreeable over text, and even less so in-person.
Take the other person’s viewpoint as your starting point. What are their values, intentions, and assumptions. What do you have to offer them in that context?
Skip the email – meet in person.
Your first choice should always be to meet and discuss the disagreement in person. Seeing the other person’s face and hearing their voice will convey more than will words on a screen.
As technology advances, it is becoming easier than ever to connect with people. Take advantage of your computer or smartphone camera. If you cannot meet in person, ask for a quick video chat. When a person sees and hears your face and voice, communicating arguments can be more impactful than you may have thought. Use an e-mail or written message as a last resort.
Compassion is the ultimate ingredient in “winning” an argument. Understand where the other person is coming from, acknowledge their viewpoint, and allow them to see you as a human being as well. Doing so will expand both of your perspectives.