How To Argue: What To Say When You Disagree

Disagreements: Be Agreeable Even If You Can’t Agree

by Gene Griessman, Ph.D.

To hold your own in an argument, instead of saying, “You’re wrong,” or”That’s Not True,” use the following power statement.  You will come across as friendly, and it will provide you with some space to present your own ideas.

Say, “I agree with much of what you just said, but I have problems with… ” and then state what it is that you disagree with).  Another version is ” I agree with several of the points (or “many of the points”) that you just made, but I’m not sure I can accept…”

(This same template can be used for evaluations of a speech or a worker’s performance. You begin by stating: “I like much of what you did”–and you may tell what it is that you like–“but I have a problem with….”)

I can almost guarantee you that when you use this template, the other party will pause and listen to your view at least for a few moments.   The reason?  You have shown respect for his or her intelligence by saying “I agree with you…”or “I like much of what you did.”

Arguments can turn into quarrels when there is lack of respect.  This power statement, or template, begins from a position of respect.

–Gene Griessman has made presentations all over the world, including Ford’s Theatre, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Georgia Dome.  His Abraham Lincoln presentation has received rave reviews from audiences and Lincoln scholars alike.  To obtain information about how you can book Dr. Griessman for your next meeting, contact us at 404-256-5927 or abe@mindspring.com

Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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