1. Don’t focus on WINNING… focus on achieving objectives through your discussion.
2. If you interrupt to make a point, it doesn’t matter how great your point is… you lose.
3. Focus on progress and not a perfect solution.
4. Remember that you can’t solve the problems of the past, so keep your focus on creating solutions for the future.
5. Keep things simple. Complexities complicate things and stall solutions.
6. Set clear ‘rules’ or ‘guidelines’ before beginning any difficult conversation.
7. When your ‘opponent’ raises their voice, immediately lower yours to diffuse any hostility they may have.
8. Never let someone tell you what you think & never tell someone what they’re thinking.
9. Use “and” more than “but” because “but” is an eraser and diminishes arguments. Example: “I agree with you, but…” It invalidates your argument and diminishes your position.
10. Try to identify your ‘opponents’ fear and then work hard to address that fear with a solution.
11. Be respectful and work hard to avoid taking personal shots.
12. Be educated in your argument. Know facts, stats and what the experts say before getting involved in the conversation.
13. Maintain a positive posture and remove obstacles or barriers that may be between you and the person you’re talking to.
14. If you’re right and they’re wrong, don’t tell them you’re right. If you’re wrong and they’re right, don’t be afraid to admit you’re wrong.
15. Identify the other person’s agenda or objective and look for opportunities to agree with them.
16. Avoid eating. When you’re stuffing your face while ‘listening,’ it shows the other person you’re not interested in hearing their position.
17. Don’t attack someones position until you believe you have a solution.
18. Don’t get angry; even if they’re intentionally pushing your buttons. When you get mad, you lose every time.
19. Don’t walk away from an argument without getting permission from your ‘opponent.’ If you need to walk away and cool off, do so with their support only.
20. Never go to bed angry.
21. The best way to end an argument is to pray with your opponent.