When trying to win an argument you might think that you need to change what the person fundamentally believes. Well if you’ve ever tried this technique you know that it has a low success rate because people are not too keen on changing their belief systems, let alone being told what to think.
So scratch that. Instead I’m sharing a technique that will help you to win someone to your position.
Instead of challenging a person’s beliefs, you want to create a connection between your position and their belief system. Since this requires you to empathize with beliefs and values that don’t resonate with you, it’s a good exercise in empathy. But this very act of connecting your viewpoint to their values is what helps increase the legitimacy of your argument in their eyes. It also decreases the perceived gap between your worldview and theirs.
And we do this through reframing.
Essentially you change their frame of mind by reframing your viewpoint, by leveraging their preconceived notions and current belief systems.
Put simply, you recalibrate your message to resonate with their own worldview. And that does not mean that you need to share their values or believe what they do.
Let’s have a look at a few examples of frame-changing.
I respect your dedication to keeping the team on time with due dates [existing belief]. Can I share with you a project management software that will decrease overhead and boost productivity?
And just like that you’ve reframed the argument around the shared belief of boosting productivity.
Alright let’s take a look at another example. Imagine that you’re sharing a plan to boost morale by offering a wellness app free for employees but your supervisor says that costs exceed the budget. Instead of arguing about budget, you come to her with the actual numbers and reframe your position by connecting with existing values:
I know you care for the wellbeing of your employees, because happy employees are productive employees [existing belief]. We sent out a survey of what perks people would enjoy and it came back with 90% of employees wanting a fitness stipend. Upon crunching numbers, the app would cost us a fraction of what company-wide gym membership costs. The plan I’ve created frees up a huge portion of our budget while also giving our employees what they want.
And now your manager is all ears. You’ve got her to listen, and you’ve won your argument.
Awesome right? And it comes down to reframing.
The key to successfully winning an argument is to first understand your adversary’s point of view. What are their existing beliefs and value systems? Once you know their perspective your argument will resonate with them if you tie it to the beliefs that support their worldview. Reframing your position will allow you to change their own frame, thus winning them over!
Again, the point is not to change their values or challenge their beliefs, rather it’s about establishing rapport and finding common ground so that you can influence them to see it your way.
Alright Explearners that’s it from me today. If you liked this video be sure to give it a big thumbs up. If you prefer to listen to this lesson, check out our podcast. And head on over to our blog for the full transcript of this lesson.
Can you think of any other ways to win an argument? Share that with the Explearning community in the comments down below.
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Happy Explearning :)