Arguing with folks on the Internet. It’s silly as a mug.


As the saying goes “It takes two to tango.” Well, it also takes two to argue. It is impossible to have an argument with someone if they don’t participate. If your goal is to reach a solution and create a win/win outcome, arguing isn’t the route to take. Instead the best way to reach a collaborative conclusion is to ask questions.

We are taught to ask questions in coaching so the other person can hear in their own words the solutions. In fact it is said that coaches do not ask questions so they can hear the answer, but so the client can hear the answer. Questions allow the person to take ownership and responsibility for the solution. Although there are times, when coaching a client, that I already know the answer. It is more powerful to allow my client to come to it on their own in their own words.

The same works in an argument. If all you want to do is argue, questioning isn’t likely to be helpful. But, if you want to co-create a solution, questioning can assist in creating a solution that will be agreeable to both parties.

Time and again I have find that it is useless to argue or try to reason with person, especially when talking about a subject they are very passionate about. The person always begins the conversation believing I am wrong and they are right… which is the foundation to arguments. By asking simple questions, that person begins to see the problem from a different perspective. Most of the time the conversation ends with the agreement to disagree. Questioning allows us all to work through the problem and think about it in a different way.

I am definitely finding this process helpful anytime there is conflict. In truth, unless you just want to have a good argument and be a butt hole living the troll life, my opinion would be to avoid defending your position and focus on asking questions. Questions take the heat out of the situation and allow both parties to view the problem from a different perspective. Even if you know the answer, the other person will be more open to the solution if they are allowed to discover it on her or his own.


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