I’m currently reading a book that has been a best seller since the 1930s and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick it up. It’s called How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A book that has been selling for almost 100 years! Full of common sense nuggets.
One of the pieces of advice the author shares is that the best argument is no argument at all.
If someone comes to you and says the sun is green, you can look at them with importance and explain that it is yellow. Or you can say, “That is really interesting. I always thought the sun was yellow. What makes you think it is green?” And let them talk about their thinking.
At some point the person may realize that maybe the sun isn’t green at all. Maybe it’s yellow. But they have to convince themselves. They will own the point more if they got there on their own. And if they are cornered into it by you forcing your opinion, they will defend their point of view causing a never-ending, no-one-wins argument.
And you never know. They might just convince you that the sun is in fact green in which case you learned something new too. I hear the sun is a mixture of all colours which we see as white, but it looks more yellow at sunrise and sunset. Who knew?
This is the basic foundation for how every argument with your spouse or friend or boss or client or co-worker goes. And how it could go if we listened to the simple advice that Dale Carnegie shares.
If we see the conversation as a discussion and a chance to learn, we both come out better for it. The less we argue, the more we grow. And who knows where that might lead us? To a new day and another sunrise. Shine on.