I’m terrible at arguing. I can never think of the right things to say to back up my point of view. And when I do have the most well-put together case, I end up making the other person mad. It’s a lose-lose so I just keep my mouth shut. Keeping my mouth shut is sometimes just as difficult, does that make it a lose-lose-lose? I think it does.
Then this article caught my eye. Now I can, as they say, “Criticize with kindness.”
So here it is. (Paraphrased from brainpickings.org) Better practice these steps if you’re going to make it through next Thanksgiving.
1. Restate your opponents’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that he says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Then, and only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.
It sure blows that whole sandwich theory out of the water. I can’t say I’m going to pick fights with every Joe who has a differing opinion but I can say I learned something.
One thing I can say is that this article will ensure the next family dinner doesn’t come down to fisticuffs.