It Does Not Pay to Argue in Business

Pay attention and you will be surprised how often you are in a situation to either make your point or get what you want. I see this everyday in business. There’s a decision to be made. Rather than doing the proper work to make the best possible decision (looking at the data, considering the budget, accounting for the impact on people, creating a model) the discussion devolves into some prior sin committed by you or your partner.

The last time we launched a new item it was a disaster! You messed it all up. That was a stupid idea. Oh no, we’re not going down that road again. Blah blah blah.

So here’s the thing. Do you want to win the argument or get what you want?

The more you dig into the other side, the more defensive they become. You discussion about the new idea is now about some mistake one of you made the last time a major decision came up.

If you can let go of your desire to prove your point, wipe the smugness off your demeanor and scale back the tone, you might just get what you want.


Try focusing totally on the decision at hand.”I’d like to model this out and see where it leads.” “Let’s make a plan and see if it’s doable.” “Can we set a time to talk through all the possibilities?”

You may not get your ‘gotchya’ moment over that last big blunder your partner made but you might just get a better discussion and a better outcome.

Chris Reich, TeachU


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *