The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it

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In the new section of [carnegie2010], the author shows some examples where a discussion just ruins the mood of a dinner, or someone loses a customer. The core message of this chapter is to realize when an argument is granted and when should we just eat our own ego and let a mistake pass by. The idea is that in a discussion, no one wins. The one who is right gets a momentary confidence boost, but the one who is wrong is hurt for longer. This is especially true in cases if great asymmetry (a guest at a dinner, etc.)

Even though I somehow agree with the content of the chapter, I wonder how one would frame a discussion. It feels a bit passive aggressive, just letting the other person know that they are mistaken by a convoluted way. What if this would be the case in a meeting, discussing ideas. The chapter goes on to describe a disagreement instead of a discussion. In which part the author only copies another book.

The idea is that if you are the one who is right, fight your first instinct of contradicting the other person. Find the most convoluted way of saying what you think without hurting their feelings. If, on the other hand, you are the one who is wrong and someone is contradicting you, find common areas of agreement such that you can have a level dialogue. Turn your opponent into a friend, either by acknowledging their contribution or by agreeing to their view.

The most important: postpone action. Give it time to both think about it before reaching a conclusion. It is important that each party has enough time to reflect before a decisions is made.

Sadly, this chapter focuses on binary topics, when one is right and the other is wrong, and the consequent examples are in those lines. Who wrote X book, etc. That's verifiable. However, what happens when one is thinking about abstract things, such as goals for the company. There's no right/wrong, it is about vision, values, risk/cost considerations.

Literature note on The Leader in You - Dale Carnegie

tags: #management-books #reading-2021 #literature-note


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Aquiles Carattino
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