Let’s face it. How often have you turned to logic and reason to win a heated disagreement? You will very quickly find that your attempts at logic aren’t working. In this week’s video, I’m sharing 4 strategies for you to use when logic isn’t working. Any chance of collaboration and cooperation demands a shift in perspective. It requires us to adopt a different approach.
When logic doesn’t work and the argument is heating up we all feel vulnerable and frustrated. It’s at this moment when we realize that logic doesn’t work that we’re not going to shift someone’s perspective, that we label this person irrational. But before we paint someone this way, consider this: we live in a world that no longer favors diverse, well-rounded arguments, causing us to become more entrenched in our beliefs.
We naturally gravitate towards information that supports our beliefs and tends to reject or disregard information that contradicts our opinions and positions. This is ironic because information is more accessible today, yet we selectively and narrowly choose what to listen to, absorb and follow. Frustrated, fatigued and feeling defeated, many of us retreat to fight another day or regroup to identify other options.
4 Strategies for You to Consider and Implement When Logic Isn’t Working
1. It’s Not About Winning
The notion of winning an argument when participants have such vastly differing views on something fundamental to a transaction should be discarded. Instead, focus on understanding where the differences lie. While participants may not share the same beliefs, you may share a desire to figure out a way to bridge differences. Politicians have to do this all the time. All participants will have differing views on what winning is; no one will get everything they want.
2. Set Aside The Facts
When logic isn’t working, it’s time to set aside the facts. Chances are, it’s not the facts that are presenting disagreement – it’s conflicting values that lead to differing priorities.We have to shift our thinking from ‘right and wrong’ to accept that the thought process is being governed by a different belief system. In some situations, your goals are going to be completely incompatible. But in others, you may be able to find an approach that can bridge the divide.
3. Other Viewpoints Matter
How many people in your circle of friends, family, colleagues, and peers have fundamentally different viewpoints than you? Are you more likely to be open to what they have to say? If you share common ground with them in other areas of your life, they may be able to shed light on a belief system that differs radically from your own. Use your pre-existing relationship with this person to make room for an expanded view. There is a chance that your position will shift or soften slightly in honor of the respect you have for this person and the value you place on the relationship.
4. Agree to Disagree
When logic isn’t working sometimes, you need to agree to disagree. This is about showing respect and communicating with an open mind. The world’s most complicated political challenges require diplomats to have regular, honest and open conversations about sensitive subject matters. These could be spanning denuclearization, climate change, Middle East peace, or funding for a border wall, to name a few. And they do it consistently from positions that are far apart.
Beliefs go right to the root of a person’s identity and cultural roots. So getting into an argument with someone is akin to attacking their identity. It’s a losing argument that can damage your reputation and close off a future opportunity to work together.
Instead of focusing on winning, focus on keeping the conversation alive. You may just win after all.
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