Try to avoid arguments when talking (1)


During the American Civil War, Harris Grilley, the most famous newspaper, vehemently opposed Lincoln's policies. He believed that Lincoln could agree with him by polemics, taunts and insults. He launched attacks day after day, year after year.

On the night of Lincoln's assassination, Grilley also published a scathing and rude attack on Lincoln. Did those sharp attacks make Lincoln agree with Greeley? Not at all. Taunts and insults can never be convincing. If you want to know some ideal suggestions about how to behave, control yourself and improve your character.

Take a look at Benjamin Franklin's autobiography. Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is one of the most fascinating biographies, and it is also a classic American book. In this autobiography, Franklin describes how he overcame the bad habit of arguing, making him the most capable, kind and smooth diplomat in American history.

One day, when Franklin was a short-tempered young man, an old friend of the Quaker called him aside and gave him a sharp reprimand. The situation is roughly as follows:

You are hopeless. You have hit everyone who disagrees with you. Your opinion has become so precious that no one can afford it. Your friends find that they will be much more comfortable if you are not present. You know too much, no one can teach you anything. No one is going to tell you anything, because it will be thankless and unpleasant. So you can't absorb new knowledge, but your old knowledge is limited.


Franklin accepted that painful lesson. At that time, he was mature enough and wise enough to comprehend and find that he was facing the fate of social failure. He immediately got rid of arrogance and rudeness. Franklin said: I have made a rule that I will never oppose others' opinions directly, and I will not allow myself to be too arbitrary. I don't even allow myself to be too sure in words or language. I don't say "of course", "no doubt", etc., but use "I think", "I suppose" or "I imagine" one thing should be one way or another. Or "it seems to me so far".

When someone States something I don't agree with, I will never refute him immediately or point out his mistake immediately. In my reply, I will say that under certain conditions and circumstances, his opinion is not wrong, but in this case, it seems to be slightly different and so on.

I soon realized the harvest of changing my attitude, and the atmosphere of every conversation I participated in was much more harmonious. I express my opinions with a modest attitude, which is not only easy to be accepted, but also reduces some conflicts. When I find myself wrong, there is no embarrassing scene, and when I happen to be right, I can make the other party agree with me instead of being stubborn.

When I first adopted this method, I really felt that it was in conflict with my nature, but it became easier and easier as time went by, and it became my habit. Maybe for 50 years, no one has heard me say anything too arbitrary. This habit, supported by my integrity, is an important reason why I can get the attention of my compatriots when I introduce new bills or amend old provisions, and have considerable influence after I become a member of the popular association.


Because I am not good at rhetoric, let alone eloquence, I am hesitant to use words, and I will say the wrong thing. But generally talking, my opinion has been widely supported.

If Franklin's method is used in the market, what is the effect? Carnegie gave three examples. Catherine Al-Fred, from King Hill, North Carolina, is an industrial engineering supervisor of a spinning factory. She reported her experience in dealing with a sensitive issue before and after training. She reported that:

Part of my duty is to design and maintain various methods and standards to motivate employees, so that operators can produce more yarn and they can earn more money. When we only produced two or three different kinds of yarns, the method we used was quite good. However, recently, we expanded our product projects and production capacity to produce more than twelve different kinds of yarns. The original method could not give reasonable remuneration to operators based on their workload, so it could not encourage them to increase their production.

I have designed a new method, which enables us to give each operator appropriate remuneration according to the grade of yarn produced in any period of time.

After designing this new method, I attended a meeting and determined to prove my method to the senior staff in the factory. I explained in detail that the methods they used in the past were wrong, and pointed out the places where they could not give the operators fair treatment and the solutions I prepared for them.

However, I failed completely. I was too busy defending my new method, leaving no room for them to admit the mistakes in the old method without losing face, so my suggestion was aborted.

After attending this training for several classes, I have a deep understanding of my mistakes. I asked for another meeting, and in this meeting, I asked them to tell us what the problem was. We discuss every key point and ask them to tell us the best solution. At the right time, I guide them to come up with solutions according to my meaning with low-key suggestions. When the meeting ended, I actually put forward my proposal, and they warmly accepted it.

I am now convinced that if you point out that someone is wrong, you will not only get good results, but also cause great damage. You just deprive others of their self-esteem and make yourself unwelcome.


Mahaney, located at No.114 Liberty Street, new york, specializes in selling special tools used by oil companies. He accepted a batch of orders from an important customer on Long Island. The blueprint was presented and approved, and the tools began to be manufactured. Then, an unfortunate thing happened. The buyer and his friends talked about it, and they all warned him that he had made a big mistake, that he had been cheated, and that everything was wrong. Too wide, too short, too this, too that. His friends made him angry. He made a phone call to Mr. Mahoney and vowed never to accept the equipment that had already been manufactured. Mahaney said afterwards:

I checked it carefully and made sure that we were correct. I knew that he and his friends didn't know what to say. But I think it would be dangerous to tell him so. I went to Long Island to meet him, and as soon as I entered his office, he jumped up and sprang towards me. He was so excited that he waved his fist as he spoke. He accused me and my equipment. At the end, he said, "OK, what are you going to do now?"

I told him very calmly that I would do whatever he wanted. "You are a person who spends money on things. Of course, you should get what suits you, but someone must be responsible. If you think you are right, please give me a blueprint for manufacturing. Although the old case has already cost 2,000 yuan, we are willing to bear the loss. In order to satisfy you, we would rather sacrifice two thousand dollars. However, I must remind you that if we follow your insistence, you must take up this responsibility. But if you let us go according to the original plan, then we can assure you that we are absolutely responsible. "

He calmed down at this moment and finally said, "OK, go as planned, but if it is wrong, God bless you." There was nothing wrong with the result, so he promised me that he would order two similar goods from me this season.


When the customer insulted me, waved his fist in front of me, and said that I was a layman, I really needed the highest degree of self-control so that I wouldn't argue with him and defend myself. It does require extreme self-control, but the result is well worth it. If I say he is wrong and start arguing, I will probably have to fight a lawsuit, break up my feelings, lose a sum of money and lose an important customer. Indeed, I am convinced that it is not worthwhile to point out that others are wrong. Clory, a salesman of Taylor Timber Company in new york, admitted that for many years, he always pointed out clearly the mistakes made by the timber inspectors with big temper. Although he won the debate, it didn't do him any good. "Because those inspectors," clory said, "like baseball referees, once the judgment goes on, they will never change it." Clory saw that although he won with words, he lost thousands of money to the company. Therefore, in Carnegie's class, he decided to change his skills and stop arguing with others.

The following is his lecture in class: One morning, the telephone in my office rang. An anxious and angry customer complained on the other end that the truckload of timber we shipped did not meet their specifications at all. His company has ordered the truck to stop unloading, and asked us to arrange to move the timber back immediately. After a quarter of the cars were unloaded from the wood, their wood inspectors reported that 55% of them were out of specification. In this case, they refused to accept it.

I set off for the other side's factory at once. On the way, I have been looking for the best way to solve the problem. Usually, in that case, I will use my work experience and knowledge to quote the wood grading rules to convince his inspectors that the batch of wood is beyond the standard. However, I thought, I'd better use the principles I learned in class.

When I arrived at the factory, I found that the purchasing director and inspector were unhappy, waiting for the quarrel. We walked to the unloading truck, and I asked them to continue unloading. Let me see how it went. I asked the inspector to continue to pick out the substandard wood and put the qualified wood in another pile.

Things for a while, I just know, it turned out that his inspection is too strict, but also get the inspection rules twist. That batch of wood is white pine. Although I know that the inspector has rich knowledge of hardwood, he is not qualified to inspect white pine and has little experience. White pine happens to be my best expert, but do I object to the way the inspector evaluates the grade of white pine? Absolutely not. I continued to watch, and slowly began to ask him why some timber was substandard. I didn't hint at all that he had made a mistake. I stressed that I asked him only to meet the requirements of their company when delivering goods in the future.

Ask him in a very friendly and cooperative tone, and insist that he pick out the dissatisfied parts to cheer him up, so the tense feelings between us begin to relax and dissipate. Occasionally, I ask a few questions carefully, which makes him feel that some unacceptable timber may meet the specifications, and also makes him feel that their price can only require this kind of goods. However, I was very careful not to let him think that I meant to embarrass him.

Gradually, his whole attitude changed. At last, he admitted frankly that he had little experience with white pine and asked me about the white pine board that was removed from the car. I explained to him why all the loose boards met the inspection specifications, and still insisted that if he still thought they were unsuitable, we didn't want him to accept them. He finally came to the point where he felt guilty every time he picked out a piece of unsuitable wood. Finally, he saw that the mistake was that they didn't specify what good grades they needed.

As a result, after I left, he re-examined the unloaded timber and accepted it all, so we received a full check.


In this case alone, using a little skill and trying to stop yourself from pointing out other people's mistakes can substantially reduce the loss of a large amount of cash in our company, and the good relationship we have gained can't be measured by money.

Someone asked Martin Luther King, a peace campaigner, why he worshipped General Daniel James, the highest-ranking black officer in the United States at that time. Dr. King replied: "I judge others according to their principles, not according to my own principles."

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