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How to Argue: Powerfully, Persuasively, Positively


Author: Jonathan Herring

Publisher: FT Press


Publish Date: April 27, 2012

ISBN-10: 132980932

Pages: 224

File Type: ePUB, MOBI, PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Do you hate arguments and avoid them at all costs? Or do you just find that you keep losing them? Perhaps even when you win, somehow you feel it has all been counter-productive?

If so, this is the book for you. It will teach you how to argue well. You’ll discover how you can get your points across in a clear and effective way. It will also help you to develop techniques so that you can respond to the arguments of others equally effectively.

Some people love arguments (lawyers and small children in particular). But most people flee them. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but often it isn’t. Avoiding an argument can mean that the problem simply goes on and is brushed under the rug. The suppressed resentment can poison a relationship or fill a workplace with tension.

In this book we will look at more positive ways of understanding arguments. They needn’t be about shouting or imposing your will on someone. A good argument shouldn’t involve screaming, squabbling or fistfights, even though too often it does. Shouting matches are rarely beneficial to anyone. Instead, we should view the ability to argue well as an art and a skill.

The ability to argue calmly, rationally and well is a real asset at work and in life. It can sharpen your thinking, test your theories, get you what you want. In any case, it’s impossible to avoid arguments. So you need to learn how to argue well. Arguments can be positive. A good argument between friends can be fun and enlivening. An argument can get matters out in the open so that issues can be dealt with and there are no hidden grudges. Sometimes an argument is necessary to ensure that we get what we are entitled to: if you never argue in favor of a pay raise, you might never get one!

Arguments should be about understanding other people better, sharing ideas and finding mutually beneficial ways ahead. Arguing has sometimes gotten a bad rap. But that’s because people often argue badly. That must stop!

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