Lose the argument, not the person.
When you think about an argument, it gets down to being all about you. It’s about getting your point across. It’s about making sure the other person knows that you are right. It’s about winning. The problem is that it never ends that well for either party. You don’t have to look far to see how arguments can escalate quickly. Recently a video made the rounds of a customer going to the bathroom in the front of a restaurant because of an argument with an employee. In the end, no one won. The lady was arrested and the employees now had a mess to clean up. Arguments have also broken marriages and lifelong friendships. Let’s look at a few ways to avoid having these negative interactions.
Avoid arguing your family and friends
I’m going to start off with the most important piece; your family and friends. In nearly 20 years of marriage, I’ve never walked away from an argument satisfied. Even when I “won” I always felt like I had lost in some way……. and that’s because I had. You never truly win in an argument. You may get your point across but you do so at the cost of the relationship.
- Listen. Really listen, as in listen and don’t plan your counter-attack in your head while the other person talks. Guys are especially guilty here.
- Lower your speaking volume. This helps when the other party is raising their voice. They have to quiet down to be able to hear to you respond. When you step up your volume to match theirs, things only escalate further and now just punched a one-way ticket to regret.
- Don’t push the buttons. If you are close to someone, you know what buttons to push to get someone upset. It’s an easy and cheap point to hit those buttons during an argument.
Avoid arguing with your guests and clients
Most everyone runs across a guest or client that is angry, or even hostile from time to time and it can be difficult to fight the piece in you screaming to put the person in their place. Fight that feeling by understanding these things.
- It’s not about you. Really it’s not. They don’t know you personally or your situation. They are upset about a circumstance or service failure. Now, if you choose to engage and argue your point or how they are wrong, then it does become about you and you just lost. Remember to keep your personal feelings in check.
- There are no bad customers. Someone could counter and say “What about thieves and people looking to take advantage fo you?” Those aren’t true customers. There is no difference in a “good” or “bad” customer. Their money is worth exactly the same.
- Understand why they are there. They want to do business with you otherwise they wouldn’t be there. Take care of the problem, serve the person and help them on with their day. They won because they got what they wanted from your business and you won because you got their business.
Do what you can and remember back to the previous message of saying yes. It works on both your personal and professional life. Create a win-win situation by flipping the argument into an opportunity to serve someone in a personal way.
Make a friendlier tomorrow.