Is It Good To Argue?
How much potential financial or emotional reward do you lose by becoming contentious?
Why is it that so many people today cannot argue? Instead, they become contentious meaning, they lose patience when exchanging opposing perspectives, inflating what should be healthy argument into heated argument i.e. contention.
Argument is educating. It is how everyone learns something new and may be defined as, ‘a reason or set of reasons given in support of an idea, action or theory’. Exchanging diverse points of view is a rational human activity. Of itself, it is never offensive, only courteous.
Contention, on the other hand, may be defined as, ‘heated argument, that transpires when people are waiting to speak rather than truly listening' and is bullying!
Argument is – or should be – when everyone is striving for synergy; when the sum of all the parts is greater than individual contribution. It is when differing points of view are discussed in support of the question under review. This requires active listening; something that most people in the western world seem to have lost as an effective communication skill.
Stephen R. Covey’s 5th habit of highly effective people states, ‘Seek 1st to Understand. Then to be Understood’. This relationship-building habit requires all parties allow the person actually talking the opportunity of presenting their view without criticism, complaint or comparison. The speaker is granted time to get across what they are trying to convey. When they have finished speaking, those listening may ask questions – politely - to clarify any misunderstanding. This emotional maturity enhances argument, rather than conflicts with it.
1) Pay total attention, rather than just waiting to speak
2) Allow the speaker the courtesy of concluding their point of view without interruption
3) Seek to resolve misunderstanding through polite and relevant questioning
4) When it is your turn to speak, build upon, rather than attack, the other persons argument presenting your perspectives clearly and concisely
5) Repeat this process until there is mutual agreement, or you agree to disagree, agreeably
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Complicated IS Easy! Simple IS Hard!