Avoiding arguments doesn't have to be an arduous task! "Three Awesome Ways to Avoid Arguments," offers innovative and effective strategies to introduce calm to even the most argumentative discussion.
Listen - Listening to your speaker during a heated argument is one of the most challenging things you'll ever do. Especially when you believe the information is inaccurate or the speaker is speaking to you in a vindictive voice tone. Clear your mind of all distractions and concentrate on information that you don't already have. Nod your head occasionally to affirm that you are listening. And, always place your need to understand, before your desire to be understood.
Avoid Adding Fuel to the Fire - Eliminate making statements such as: "I'm sorry, but what you're saying makes absolutely no sense at all." Or, "If you would just calm down for a minute, maybe I could explain..." Statements like these only intensify the core of frustration or anger. Instead, go "old school." Bite your tongue when you find yourself tempted to say anything that may be perceived to be condescending.
Flip the Script - OK. This technique requires skills. If your speaker is livid and "lashing out irrationally," he's reacting from the right side (the emotional side) of his brain. Aim to alter his emotional state and get him to the other side, as smoothly and quickly as possible. To do this successfully, you must interrupt his current focus and pattern of communication. First, say his name. Then, immediately ask for clarification. People instinctively respond from a slightly calmer emotional state when they hear their own names. Then, with composure, speak numerically. For example:
"Stephen. Let me make sure I understand. You're saying, number one; when I don't return your keys to the place where I found them, it irks you to no end. Two, it puts you in a position where you lose 10, 15, 30 minutes of your day - or even more - when I don't think. And three, you're asking is it really that difficult to complete one, simple routine. Is that accurate?"
In order to follow the sequence of numbers you just laid out, Stephen has to flip his own script, to the calmer. Why? Because his brain hears numbers! That means, the right side automatically enlists the left side to take over. The left side is the rational side of our brain. It handles numbers, logic and of the like. Stephen is now in a solution-oriented, state of mind.
Fran Briggs is President of The Fran Briggs Companies, an organization which helps others maximize their human potential. The FBC is dedicated to the empowerment and personal development of schools, communities and corporations around the globe. For more information or free tips on how you can take your human potential beyond the max, visit http://www.franbriggs.com/