Welcome to the course book 'How to Communicate' in 8 chapters. Write engaging documents and have enjoyable interactions with people in the kitchen, office or on stage.

Good communication can resolve any problem even among the cacophony of today's interactions. Conversations between people are at the root of all problems and also integral to solving them.

Please read the foreword first and then we wish you a fun journey in the art of communication.

Ideas on this site are free. What it took to get them to you is given freely also. In future we shall sell books and audio books.

Argue or Negotiate?

on Feb 12

The original meaning of the word argue is from the latin word arguere which means to make clear. Nowadays arguing usually taken as a heated debate or worse – circular disagreement.

The frustrations associated with disagreement are largely because each side knows their communication is unlikely to be replicated and there will be no satisfaction on either side. Each person feels they may lose the argument and so on it goes.

The idea of winning or losing thus replaces the idea you want to pass over to the other person. One might as well learn ping pong and get some exercise and satisfaction into the bargain.

When the Brits were handing back India to the Indians Mountbatten had to make the Gandhi and Jinnah both happy yet there seemed to be a conflict.

Gandhi suggested in the negotiation that the leadership was given to Jinnah who was a Moslem and rather a militant one by all accounts. Jinnah refused to take the leadership although that is what Mountbatten imagined (from his own perspective) they both wanted while Compromise was out of the question.

Now he was clear at least that Jinnah wanted something else – so he had something more concrete to go on. He also realised that it was not a question of religion since most Moslems were with Gandhi.

The resolution of the argument was the usual brit solution – partition which is the divide and rule syndrome the Romans favoured – same as Ireland, Africa and the USA – my point is that Gandhi, offering leadership to Jinnah went down well with most of the Indians but Jinnah wanted something else – a religious battle.

He wanted agreement. Gandhi wanted peace for India without the British yoke.

The main clue in negotiation is giving as much away as possible without compromising the idea itself… which would make the original idea mean something different.

The other clue is to take the ‘self’ out of the picture – it usually gets in the way.
A sub agenda such as “I thought of this”, or “My way is the best way” or even “I am making a personal sacrifice” is so tempting to just slip in to the discussion – and it can seriously cloud the issue.

A person who is confident that they are telling the truth of their own experience has the power without seeking agreement for THEIR words.

Finally, when you want to put over an idea that the object under discussion is bad the safest and most truthful way to put it is “I don’t like it – it seems rubbish to me” rather than “that’s rubbish”

One can argue with the latter while the former is simply another person’s experience and therefore acceptable since it does not threaten the other person or their view.

There are no comments yet, add one below.

Your Thoughts: