Guest AuthorNarendra Ambwani

How to ensure a positive outcome in arguments and debates

By | Narendra Ambwani | Helping CEO/CXO Excel

Many managers and leaders find it difficult to handle disputes or disagreements on business issues.  It leads to frustrations, demotivation and poor decisions.  

Some of the reasons that cause roadblocks in managing disagreements and arguments are:

1. Each person sticks to a very strong position on issues and not open to alternative views.

2. Personal ego prevents logical thoughts. Individual feels a personal loss at losing an argument.

3. Lack of mutual respect or competitive attitude of scoring a point over others in a meeting.

4. Judgement is made about views of a person based on past biases. For example the person was not right the last time or his/her suggestion was a failure in the past.

Good decisions in business or in life as well, should be based on sound logic after exploring all available options. Here are few suggestions to consider to make the best use of disagreements and arguments:

1. Arguments/ differences are opportunities to explore new point of views, exploring new perspectives.

2. Carefully examine the views being expressed by everyone. If the views are judgemental opinions, then, there is a need to push back for supporting data, otherwise views need to be ignored. Personal judgements cannot be argued as they are based on either emotions or biases. Only objective points can be argued logically.

3. All parties involved must show respect to each other. Argument must focus on issues and not personalities. Each person can have a view on a subject and all views must be considered objectively.

4. It’s a good approach to list down all the issues and points to be considered. Listing brings focus and eliminates subjectivity.

5. There may be few issues or points where agreement may be easy to achieve.  Start with agreements as it makes the group become positive in attitude.

6. On the list of unresolved items, discuss decision criterion and reach an agreement on the criterion.

7. Now let each person present their view using decision criterion.

8. Final decision should be based on what will work out as the best for overall business and not on who recommended it.

  If managers and leaders follow this simple routine they will create a happy environment and only the best decisions will be implemented every time. The work group or the team will be aligned and motivated.

Please do share your thoughts and suggestions on dealing with arguments and disagreement which are part of daily life in business.

Republished with permission and originally published at Narendra Ambwani’s LinkedIn

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