Nick Powills: Don’t Pursue the Argument, Pursue the Learning
Nick Powills: Don’t Pursue the Argument, Pursue the Learning

The more I can listen for opportunities and the more I can present positive conflict, the better chance I have at creating resolution.

In my life, I have interacted with many people who argue for the sake of arguing. They struggle with the idea of compromise. They like to hear themselves speak. They are built to debate.

The sky is blue. Nope, it is grey. Somedays, sure, but not today. No, you’re wrong.

With those who pursue the argument, I see more opportunity. They often miss the chance to learn – especially the viewpoint of others. That lost opportunity in the learning limits the pathway to victory in any argument.

Therefore, the listener wins.

Why?

Because they listen to the holes. They listen to the opportunities. They answer with answers.

I think about this in my approach with communications – including tougher conflict. The faster I can get off my soapbox and start listening to the other viewpoint, the more learning I can do and the more time I can have to create a productive response.

The more I can listen for opportunities and the more I can present positive conflict, the better chance I have at creating resolution.

Now, in each lesson comes the person who is willing to give up the “win” – in conversation, not in takeaway or conclusion. This is called the “bigger person.” This can happen in individual conflict and in larger group settings. The lessons are the key to winning. The lessons help get conflict to a productive resolution.

Someone in every argument has to be the champion. In my opinion, the champion isn’t always the person who always has the last word, but is rather the one that dilutes the friction, creates pause and opens the door for solutions.

This is true in client/customer relations, in husband/wife debates, in political discussions and in everyday talk. You have to understand the argument to learn how to best solve the challenge.

So, the next time your fuse starts to ignite, think about the true victory in a conversation before blowing a gasket. Find the opportunity by listening to the discussion. Listening is greater than hearing. Solutions are greater than conflicts.

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