“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

“Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.”

—Desmond Tutu, South African Anglican cleric and human rights activist

Image from thoroldnews

How often do you find yourself in an argument in your personal or professional world? They say the best way to win arguments is to avoid them. Beyond that, here are a few nuggets of wisdom from an article by Paul Sloane to consider:

  1. Stay calm and keep your cool or you will lose.
  2. Use facts as evidence for your position.
  3. Be curious rather than furious. Although this is similar to point one, questions can help you stay in control of the conversation, by making your opponent scramble for answers, and challenge their points.
  4. Listen carefully and be prepared to concede a good point.
  5. Appeal to your opponent’s higher values to go beyond logic. Use a little emotion by appealing to worthy motives that are hard to disagree with.


Check out Paul Sloane’s article How to Win an Argument — Do’s, Don’ts, and Sneaky Tactics

Please also check out these books to expand your communication mastery even further:

Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations by Kerry Patterson

“Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.”

“Argue as if you are right and listen as if you are wrong.”

—Chip Conley, American hotelier, author, and speaker

Image from Unsplash by Maria Krisanova

We all desire autonomy. We all wish to be heard and to have what we say make an impact and influence our world. To do that, we must voice our thoughts and opinions, sometimes loudly.

After all, speaking about the future well beyond our current reality may never be noticed if we are silent or only whisper our views to avoid a ruckus.

We have two ears and one mouth. Our creator must have known that we would need to hear other’s voices that might be contrary to our own, and consider the possibility of our own views being incorrect.


To what degree do you currently speak up and argue for what you believe?

How carefully and completely do you currently listen to others, given the potential for being wrong?

In which of these areas and with whom would an extra effort make the biggest difference?

It takes two to argue

“It takes two to argue: One to initiate, and the other to take the bait.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hands holding a fishing rod

Image from Unsplash by Carl Heyerdahl

One of my favorite clients is an avid fisherman. Bring up the topic of fishing and he lights up with excitement. He is full of stories of the nuances and mysteries that result in success.

He is an expert on the many lures and baits that entice fish to bite, which result in a strategic “win” for him, and at least the temporary “lose” for the fish. On many occasions, he releases the fish – which rarely occurs in arguments between two people.


How do various people in your personal or professional worlds lure you into arguments? What are some ways you can be far more aware of their strategies, to resist the bait and swim on through your day?