Getting into business discussions is an every day’s job of the managers, be with a client, a colleague, a co-worker or a senior manager/CEO. While it is always advisable not to get into a heated discussion or engage into an argument, this cannot be avoided most of the times. So what to do – throw in the towel, get into a heated discussion or walk off. Well nothing specific can be suggested as the event itself would suggest the best course of action.
But remember, all business discussions, or even non-business too, are not to win the War on Terror and so unleashing your every weapon till the debate of the argument is won over. Rather all discussions or arguments are basically to clarify one’s own queries or putting across organization’s view point to the satisfaction of the customer with a view to seek their approval or willingness to arrive at a business deal. It must be remembered that in case of the discussion getting to much heated or there are chances that limits of decency may be crossed, it is much better to disengage politely.
Remember, in a discussion, listen as intently as possible to the other side as only then one can build a befitting response. And also remember, the one who speaks more, gives out more weaknesses or points on which the other can build one’s response and counter arguments. Normally, the one who speaks more is taken to be the winner, but generally a quiet thinker and good listener is the ultimate winner.
Now what to do in case one gets into a battle of words? Here are some measures to win over or disengage gracefully.
- First and foremost tip is DON’T GET INTO AN ARGUMENTATION. That is the best approach. One should listen to the other, and if it is thought that one doesn't have much substance to convince the other or the person is getting into an argument for the sake of it, the best would be to disengage before its gets too rough for you. There may be another day and another time.
- OK, you are in it, so what to do? Remember, everyone loves winning. So start off with letting the other to win by agreeing to points that suit you and your organization. That would be a good start. Agreeing in principle would make the other fell better and provide you a good kick start.
- The third tip is LISTENING to the person whom you are talking to. Listening means listening with full concentration and all ears open and eyes as well as gestures along with words also matter. The more you let the other speak, more argumentive responses you will be able to think of.
- Remember, in an argument, one has to keep the interest of his organization supreme. And it is easier to negotiate on the interests, which are always flexible to an extent. But not positions. Don’t struck up on positions as one cannot negotiate on the position.
- The fifth tip is to put one self in the shoes of the opponent – see why he wants to stick to his ground? What are his compulsions and interests? And how he be helped or facilitated by your offers. If a person is listened to in a friendly manner, he is likely to give in more rather than taking. And that is only possible if you know what he is thinking.
- The sixth tip is to always clarify your doubts with regard to your queries. And make sure you word the questions in such a manner that the opponent is left with no choice to agree to you. Always ask open ended questions that give an opportunity to the other to freely express his feelings rather than putting across closed end questions that leave no choice for him and such questions often intimidate a person and resultantly an end to the discussion without any decision.