EQ Guided IQ.
The Art of Winning an Argument
👋 Hey Friends,
Last week, I was at a family dinner where things got a bit heated during a discussion.
One of my Uncles ( I have a big family), who's known for having strong opinions, started talking about something we don't see eye to eye on.
I was about to jump in and argue back with all the facts I had, just like I always do.
But then, I remembered a time when I argued with a close friend over coffee, and it almost ruined our friendship. It took us a while to get back to being as close as we were before that argument. That memory made me stop and think at the dinner table.
It made me realize that whether it's a family dinner or a discussion at work, the goal IS NOT to win the argument.
The goal is to understand different viewpoints and find common ground, even if we don't agree.
This story ties closely to how we handle conflicts in our workplace. We all come from diverse backgrounds and have unique perspectives, which can sometimes lead to disagreements.
But it's important to remember that these differences don't have to divide us. Instead, they can help us grow, both personally and as a team.
So, what’s the key to winning an argument?
The key to "winning" an argument is to recognize that some arguments not only can't be won but shouldn't be "won."
There are 2 kinds of people we argue with:
those we value our relationship with, and
those we do not.
Our approach to arguing with these two types can vary tremendously.
From a purely logical standpoint, an argument can be analyzed and dissected, facts gathered, and conclusions presented.
However, not all arguments can or should be “won.”
In classic debate terms, to “win” a debate means thoroughly dismantling your opponent's position by exploiting logical flaws and providing evidence to support your viewpoint.
However, whether it is worth winning or not depends on the kind of relationship you have with the person you're arguing with.
Here’s an example.
Suppose you are driving on the road, and the car next to you suddenly cuts into your lane.
You were following all the rules of the road and were clearly on the right.
The other driver is at fault.
Now, you have a few options to consider in terms of how you want to react to this situation.
You could honk your horn, shout at the other driver, and use some sign language to convey your message.
Alternatively, you could honk your horn and force the other driver to pull over so that you can express your frustration.
Another option is to honk your horn to signal to the other driver that you are in the lane, in case he or she is not aware.
Or, you could let things go and vent your frustration to someone else later on.
It's not for me to say which approach is the best one.
What I can say, however, is that the right approach depends on the
emotional context of the situation.
Let’s say you force the other driver to the side of the road, get out of the car, and start yelling at the other driver... only to realize the other driver is your boss, mother, or spouse.
Relational context matters.
Now, let's change the situation. What if they're having a medical emergency?
Suddenly, being right doesn't seem so important, does it?
For this reason, when arguing with someone, think about the kind of relationship you have or want to have with the other person.
It's possible to win an argument based on logic alone, but it takes an emotionally intelligent person to recognize and consider the relational, situational, and emotional context before choosing how to respond.
Your IQ might tell you if you're right or wrong.
But your EQ, your emotional intelligence, guides you on what to do with that information.
Relying solely on IQ can win you many arguments, but it might cost you relationships.
Ignoring the emotional and situational context can push people away, which isn't great for personal happiness or a successful career.
So, I've learned to balance both, and it's made all the difference.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you’re in a team meeting, and there's a disagreement about the direction of a project.
One of your colleagues, John, proposes an approach that you think is flawed based on your analysis and data.
Instead of immediately pointing out why John is wrong, you decide to “balance” your IQ with EQ.
First, you acknowledge John’s perspective, saying something like,
"John, I see where you're coming from and appreciate the creativity of your approach."
This shows respect for John’s effort and perspective, engaging his emotional side.
Then, you gently introduce your concerns,
"I've been looking at some data that might shed new light on this. Can we explore how it might impact our approach together?"
This way, you're not outright dismissing John’s idea but inviting collaboration, making it a learning opportunity for both of you.
This is EQ guided IQ in action.
And it works like magic.
Have a wonderful week ahead.
- Vibhor ✌️
Quote of the Week
“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
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Here, I try to give you Career, Progress, and Self-Development insights as I learn them myself.
Wish you a successful career journey ahead.
Until next week 👋
“I share things I wish I knew in the starting years of my career in the corporate world."
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