Ishita asked her colleague to order 20 reams of printer paper for their office. Instead, her colleague ordered 200 reams and blamed the error on Ishita’s miscommunication.

Her colleague’s error in judgment led to an argument. Ishita explained that ordering 200 reams didn’t make any sense. Her stance was clear—even if it’s a seemingly insignificant task, her colleague should have at least used their best judgment before making a decision to place an order.

You may have had similar encounters at work. Getting into arguments at work isn’t uncommon. From miscommunication to personal bias, many factors can lead to workplace arguments. What’s important is to learn how to win an argument with logical reasoning.

 Let’s explore the art of winning an argument to do well at work.

 

What Causes An Argument?

 

Personal biases, mistrust and poor teamwork can lead to workplace arguments. Many people with different personalities and working styles work together in an office or workplace. This can lead to conflict and create a hostile work environment.

People usually tend to become very emotional while dealing with conflict. But this isn’t helpful and often makes the problem worse. The key to winning an argument is to keep your emotions in check. This doesn’t mean that you have to ignore your feelings or suppress them. Instead, learn to work with your emotions and use them to build a strong case for yourself.

 

How To Win Every Argument

 

The art of navigating conflict is critical if you want to enjoy a wholesome work-life. You can’t actively avoid any and all conflict. There will be times when you’re having an argument with a coworker or other stakeholders like vendors or clients. But if you can learn to reason well and approach arguments with a clear head, you can definitely solve problems faster. 

Here are some effective ways to win an argument:

  1. Learn To Stay Calm

You must have heard of the common saying, “think before you speak”. It means that you have to think about what you’re going to say before you act. Being impulsive in a high-pressure situation will likely go against you. For instance, imagine you’re working frantically to meet a deadline and your intern accidentally messes up the document. Instead of blowing up at them for their mistake, ask them to come up with a solution. Staying calm can help you navigate the most difficult situations at work. It’s not easy, but not impossible either. 

 

  1. Use The Ladder Of Inference

The ladder of inference is a tool that helps you draw well-reasoned conclusions with all available information. This model was developed by Chris Argyris, professor emeritus at Harvard University and co-founder of organizational development. There are four aspects of the ladder of inference:

  • All Available Data

  • Selected Data

  • Meaning Added

  • Draw Conclusions

Use the ladder to work your way through building your case in an argument.

  1. Don’t Just State Facts, Give Solutions

We often make the mistake of recycling the same information in different ways. Don’t just regurgitate what happened by setting it in five different scenarios. You’re not here to focus on “this is what went wrong”. Instead, channel your energy toward finding a solution. Arguments are usually consequences of a problem, so the way to win an argument is to give the best solutions. Being a problem-solver is a skill that’ll set you apart from others.

 

  1. Check Your Biases

Personal biases can cloud our judgment and force us to do or say something that makes things worse. If you don’t like your coworker or their working style, you can’t let that affect your judgment. Remember, everyone’s trying to work hard and they deserve equal respect. You should make an effort to learn more about your coworkers before jumping to conclusions. You can only win an argument with a focused, objective and result-oriented approach.

Winning arguments isn’t about being on the defensive or offensive. At the end of the day, you have to work collaboratively with your coworkers to achieve organizational goals. Keep that in mind and try to resolve conflicts in the best way possible without hurting anyone’s feelings.

Harappa’s Reasoning Logically course will teach you how to win any argument with irrefutable logic. With tools like the Ladder of Inference and the Importance-Emotion Matrix, you will learn how to manage your emotions by focusing on what’s important. Tackle conflict like an expert and consider all possibilities for an unbiased approach to winning arguments. 


Explore topics such as What is an Argument & Types of Arguments from Harappa Diaries and develop logical ways to approach arguments at the workplace.

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