2018 04 IS453149307 largeDo you find yourself having fruitless arguments with people who disagree with you?

Most people come across as a total jerk when trying to get others to see things from their point of view. But, here’s the good news: a little charisma and some facts to back you up can help turn arguments to agreements.

Seeing a situation from another point of view is an important skill and it will make a huge difference – not only in the outcome but in the tenor of your “argument.”

Having this skill as a business owner can help you be more transparent overall. It can improve communication in your company and help you engage with customers. It's equally important to foster this skill in others.

It can even lead to increased sales!

Fortunately, it is possible to coax someone to step into your shoes for a moment, no matter the situation.

1. Start by Listening

The key to sharing any point of view is to listen.

When you actively listen to a partner or colleague's perspective, you indicate your willingness to learn. You also indicate a desire to be respectful, and to hear all points of the argument.

What's more, everyone likes being heard. They appreciate when anyone, especially someone who disagrees with them, takes the time to listen to their voice.

[quotesright]It makes them feel as if their thoughts are valued.[/quotesright] Giving your conversation partner a chance to talk may also help them cool off if they've become worked up.

It can give them the opportunity to gather their thoughts, make all of their points, and maybe even change their mind about their viewpoint. It may even change yours as well.

But, most importantly, listening to your conversation partner establishes a meaningful connection between the two of you.

[quotesright]When you have a conversation out of a place of trust and connection, you both will be more likely to be relaxed and focused. [/quotesright]

What's more, your partner will be more likely to hear your perspective. Otherwise, they'd just be monopolizing the conversation and launching an unfair argument.

Showing conversation partners that they can trust you is a critical first step toward convincing them of your perspective.

2. Take it Easy

It's so easy to let our emotions get the best of us, especially in a tough conversation.

When someone shares a different point of view, it can be tempting to respond in anger, sadness, and/or frustration. However, these emotions can quickly cause a neutral conversation to become heated. [quotes]This quickly establishes a conversation relationship of "me versus you."[/quotes]

As a result, the person you're speaking with will be less likely to respond positively to your attempts at convincing them. They may put up an emotional barrier and go on the defensive.

Or maybe they go on the offensive, and then you've just stepped into a verbal sparring match!

While you’re listening to the other person speak, take several deep, calming breaths. Breathe from your diaphragm. Steady your heart rate. Try to take your emotions out of the situation and focus on your main points. Take it easy so that you can be a calm conversation partner.

[quotesright]As a result, the other person will be more open to hearing your perspective. [/quotesright]

3. Ask Questions

People love being heard, but they also love people who are interested in their perspectives.

Don't just listen to the person who has a different point of view. [quotesright]Ask questions so that you can fully understand where they're coming from. [/quotesright]

Be specific with your questions and ask them throughout the person's response. This will show your engagement and interest.

[quotes]An engaged listener is no longer an opponent.[/quotes] They're a friend who is invested in the conversation.

Asking questions can also help you understand that person's perspective on the situation. It may even give you more information for the case you make later in defense of your viewpoint.

4. Use "I" Language

People don't respond positively to anger, aggression, or chatterboxes.

Similarly, they'll be less interested in hearing your point of view if you spend your time sounding accusatory.

[quotesright]It's easy to sound accusatory if you use the word "you" in making your point. [/quotesright] For example: So you believe that poor people should deal with their problems alone? You aren't operating from a place of empathy!

Even if you feel good about the point you're making, couching it in language that refers to the other person can come across as an insult or accusation.

[quotes]Instead, use "I" language.[/quotes]

For example: I don't feel that poor people should deal with their problems alone. I think it's important to be empathetic of their situation.

[quotesright]Do you see the difference? [/quotesright] With the second example, you automatically take it back a few steps. The second example also has more conviction.

2018 04 TTI Resolve Conflicts large As business experts, we use many tools and strategies to help our clients.

We'd like to you have one of these, a cheat sheet to help you be great at dealing with difficult people and situations.

pdf9 Ways to Deal With Conflict

USA: 877.433.6225 feedback@focalpointcoaching.com

5. Rely on Facts and Data

[quotesright]The best arguments are supported by solid evidence. [/quotesright] When you're trying to convince someone of your point of view, rely on as many facts and data as possible.

To be fair, it's hard to prepare for these conversations. You may be trying to get your grandmother to understand your political viewpoint at Thanksgiving. Or perhaps your colleague has just approached you in the break room with his opinion on the new hires.

Even if you end up having these conversations spontaneously, be careful of stating anything that can't be proved. Rely on facts if you have them on hand, or don't make your statement.

Encouraging another individual to see it from your perspective is much more successful if you can show that you've done your research.

6. Make Suggestions

It's important to come across as empathetic, calm, and curious in your conversation. Once again, it's essential to nurture a positive and openminded connection with the person you're speaking with.

[quotesright]In this same vein, do your best to avoid forcing any opinion or argument. [/quotesright] Your conversation partner won't respond well if you insist that your way is the right way…and that's that!

Instead, offer suggestions. [quotesright]Suggestions are low key and nonintrusive. [/quotesright]

They show that you're interested in your partner's perspective. They also show that you're interested in helping your partner think a little outside the box.

Suggestions also indicate that you're not necessarily in this to completely change the other person's mind. [/quotes]They may respond more positively as a result.[/quotes]

What's more, they may still be able to keep their perspective and understand yours! Everybody wins.

7. Respond with Body Language

If you're having this conversation in person, you can change up your body language to influence your partner's understanding.

Avoid taking an aggressive or domineering stance. For example, don't stand with your hands on your hips and a scowl on your face.

Also avoid any body language that closes you off from your partner. Everyone crosses their arms across their chest at some point, but this can actually signal disinterest, self-protection, and dishonesty.

[quotes]Better, reflect your partner's body language.[/quotes] If you take on the same stance as them, they'll be more likely to feel your partnership.

They'll feel more like you're on their side. As a result, they may be more responsive to what you have to say.

Of course, if the other person is standing in an aggressive fashion, you probably should not go there. This could lead to a feeling of mutual challenge, which can launch heated arguments and create an impasse.

8. Feel Solid in Your Point of View

The most important key to coaxing another individual to your side is to feel confident in your perspective.

[quotesright]It's essential to fully believe in your perspective. [/quotesright]

You should also feel confident in sharing your viewpoint with anyone. But it’s important to have extensive data to back up any claims that you make. Here’s why: [quotesright]If the person you're speaking with senses for a moment that you don't know your stuff, they'll immediately forget about considering your perspective. [/quotesright]

It's easier to convince people of something when you're confident in it. No one likes following a point of view that splits at the seams when it's examined.

9. Be Charismatic

At the end of the day, don't forget your charisma. [quotes]Everyone responds better to someone who is friendly, engaging, and enthusiastic.[/quotes]

If you can, try to smile more throughout your conversation. Be warm and friendly, even when it's difficult to do so.

Being charismatic isn't necessarily charming someone over to your side. Bringing some charisma into your discussion can, however, lower its stakes. It levels the playing field but also takes the emotion out of it. You'll make your conversation partner feel more relaxed as a result. This is central to convincing them of your perspective, whatever it may be.

Convincing Others of Your Point of View

Discussions that don't lead to an agreement don't have to end in gridlock. It is possible to convince another person of your point of view or modify their position by following a few essential tips.

  • Make sure you establish a positive, friendly, and inviting connection with the person you're speaking with. This may mean being charismatic or mirroring your partner's body language.
  • It may also mean asking a lot of questions and really listening to the other person's side. When you share your perspective, be confident in your case. Make sure your claims are backed by facts, and use "I" language when possible.

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