How To End Incessant Arguing

I have a rule of thumb: when there is truly nothing at stake an argument can go on and on and on and on…

There is a way out. Get everyone involved to recognize that there is nothing at stake and lead the group to make a choice. Or, take the lead and choose to give way (because you have recognized that there is truly nothing at stake.)

When positions remain entrenched, work hard to surface the missing information because there may be something essential at stake.

Try this example: what colour should we paint the garden shed?

Black. Red. Blue. Yellow. Black. Red. White. Orange. Black…

Suppose that you recognize that we will be using the shed mostly in the summertime. Now you can make the argument that the shed will get too hot if we paint it black. Instead we should use a lighter colour. Congratulations. You have surfaced new information. Now lead the group to make a choice between yellow and white.

Whenever you find yourself arguing the same point over and over again, stop and be sure that there really is something at stake before you pitch in to keep the argument going.

Leave a comment

Your comment