So, we are talking about a dispute. What is it for and what is its purpose?
Objectives of a dispute, depending on whether they are aimed at solving a problem under discussion or, conversely, in order to create additional problems and barriers, can be divided into two groups: constructive and destructive.
Let us list the most characteristic constructive goals of a discussion:
- To discuss all possible solutions to a problem;
- To develop a collective opinion, a collective position on any issue;
- To draw attention to a problem of as many interested and competent people as possible;
- To refute unscientific, incompetent approach to solving a problem, expose false rumors;
- To win over to your side as many people ready for cooperation as possible;
- To assess eventual like-minded people and opponents.
Destructive goals that may be goals of individual groups and participants in a dispute:
- To split the participants of a dispute into two irreconcilable groups;
- To bring a problem to a standstill;
- To discredit an idea and its authors;
- To turn a discussion into a scholastic dispute;
- To lead a dispute along a false path using deliberately false information;
- To smash dissidents, to discredit the opposition.
Probably, these goals, both constructive and destructive, go well beyond that. In addition, in their pure form, as a rule, they do not manifest themselves within the framework of one dispute, but can be realized in a variety of combinations.
The Persuasion Technique
What to do if there is a real need to prove your point of view to a leader without spoiling relations with him or her?
The correct way to prove one's opinion consists neither in desire to throw heads into confusion nor in showing them their incompetence in any matter, but in solving an important business issue. In addition, it is advisable not to argue with the head in the presence of a third party.
Casting doubt on the opinion of the leader, it is important:
- To know when you need it and when you do not need to defend your point of view;
- To know what issues can be discussed and which ones go beyond that;
- To know how to argue without provoking irritation, how to prove your opinion and not to be unpleasant for your leader at the same time.
If you think that it is necessary to object to your leader, try to do it tactfully, avoiding confrontation and hostile reaction in the meantime.
The nature of contradictions in a dispute often depends on the issue under discussion, emotional background in its discussion, psychological interpersonal compatibility of the two arguing parts and on the strength and experience of professional relations.
If you lose the dispute, if the leader has not understood your arguments, admit it without embarrassment and without any trauma to your ego. If you begin to get angry and demonstrate your obvious dissatisfaction with the result of the discussion, this can lead to a break in relations and alienation on the part of the leader.
Well, if you won the dispute, be modest and calm, do not rejoice at this matter. Do not assume a pose – "I told you this". Better express gratitude to the head for the fact that he or she listened to you, understood and accepted your proposal.
There are several practical recommendations on the rules of defending your point of view and the technique of persuading a partner:
- Operate with simple, clear and precise concepts;
- Argue correctly in relation to your partner;
- Openly and immediately recognize the rightness of your partner, if he or she is right;
- Continue to operate only with those arguments and concepts that have already been accepted by your partner;
- First, respond to the arguments of a partner, and only then bring your own ones;
- Keep courtesy in any situation;
- Consider personal characteristics of your partner;
- Adjust your reasoning to the goals and motivations of your partner;
- Try to avoid a simple listing of facts and arguments, it’d be better to show their advantages;
- Use only the terminology that your partner understands;
- Measure the pace and richness of your argumentation with the peculiarities of their perception by your partner;
- Try as much as possible to explain ideas, considerations, and proofs to your partner while not forgetting the strategy and modality of your partner;
- Remember that unnecessarily detailed argumentation, too detailed explanation of your idea to a partner can cause sharp rejection, and a pair of bright arguments, at times, achieve greater effect;
- Make generalizations and conclusions timely, basing on the results of a discussion.
You can also use special methods of argumentation.
The method of turning – gradual bringing a partner to the opposite conclusions by step-by-step tracing the procedure of solving a problem together with him or her.
The Salami method – gradual bringing a partner to a full agreement with you by obtaining from him or her the consent first in the main point, and then in the details necessary for the full consent.
The method of dismemberment. Separation of partner's arguments into wrong, doubtful and erroneous ones with subsequent proof of inconsistency of his or her common position.
The method of positive answers. Your conversation with a partner is built in such a way that he or she answers "yes" to your first questions. In the future, it will be much easier for him or her to agree with you on more substantive issues.
The method of classical rhetoric. Agreeing with a statement of a partner, you suddenly disprove of all his or her proofs with the help of one strong argument. This method is especially good if a partner is too aggressive.
The method of slowing down the tempo. It is a deliberate slowdown and pronouncing aloud the weakest points in the argument of a partner.
The method of two-way argumentation. You tell your partner about both strengths and weaknesses of what you are offering. This method is best used in discussions with an intellectual partner.