Winning an argument is often a matter of who has the most power. The more powerful you are, the more likely that you will become victorious in convincing the other party that your argument has merit. However, you may think that you are not powerful enough. If this is your mindset, then you’ll have a difficult time being persuasive.
Power is a mindset. You have to believe that you are endowed with it. The problem with people these days is that they want to be like others. They idolize celebrities, politicians and athletes. They take pride in following others and lose their individuality in the process.
When the essence of who you are is lost, your innate power also goes away. We are all imbued with our own authority from the moment we were born but more often than not, this immense storehouse of power that we all have is not fully utilized.
Before correlating power with argument, let’s first define power. This is important if we want to understand why you need to harness your own power to win an argument. As a noun, the dictionary defines power as “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.”
Another definition of power is “the ability to do something or act in a particular way, especially as a faculty or quality.” Based on these definitions, we can then see that power is inherent in a person because it is a capacity or ability. As such, it lies dormant in you unless you cultivate it.
Power is a force that we all have. In fact, it is the essence of our unique personality. Everything we are—our talents, our hopes and dreams and our traits—all these are our power. And because we are not made alike, the power one possesses is unique from that of others. Thus, it can be said that we don’t have the same power in different areas of our lives.
One person is equipped with public speaking and as such, he may feel very powerful when he is talking in front of an audience. Another may dance very well and as such, she exudes confidence while performing in the dance floor. Still another may have facility with the written word and as such, will feel most at home when putting his thoughts on paper.
However, being powerful in one aspect does not make you less powerful in others. This weakness is only your own perception of things. If you believe that you can’t reason with someone who is a better speaker than you are, that is simply how you perceive things—it isn’t an authentic representation of reality.
Unfortunately, how we perceive our own weaknesses is often the problem. If you believe that the other person holds more power than you then you have already given them power over you. Your subsequent preparations and other training will not mean anything anymore.
The problem when you imbue someone with power that they do not have is that you are giving them more power than what they really possess. You are giving them power that is way more than what they actually have. In the end, you are only fooling yourself. Doing so is detrimental when you are trying to prevail in an argument.
How Power Should Be Viewed
In our dealings with others, it becomes inevitable that we meet people who are more powerful in different aspects than we are. Yet as stated above, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you think that the other party holds more power than you have. On the other end of the spectrum, it isn’t also productive if you let the other party’s perception of your power dictate your actions.
This can only result in one of two things: First, if you believe that the other party is afraid of your prowess, then you might become arrogant. Second, if you perceive that the other party feels more superior to you, then you might lose your self-confidence. Both will only make you lose as arrogance will result to carelessness which will lead you to handle power ineffectively and lose while timidity will lead you to make weak arguments which will make people take you less seriously.
How should you handle power then? One of the most important truths that you should acknowledge is that you are the source of your own power and that of your opponent’s.
If you believe that you are powerful and that you can win any argument in the courtroom, at work or at home then you can. By acknowledging that you have the power to persuade the others to listen to you then you have already won half the battle.
For you to believe that you are powerful requires stripping yourself of any false pretenses. Many believe that the techniques of great argumentation lead one to victory. Unfortunately, it won’t if you argue from the point of deception.
For far too long, we have been taught to believe that to win an argument, we must conceal our feelings and deceive others. This is the reason why we keep losing many of our battles. If you constantly hide what you are feeling—the anger, the hate and love—then you won’t become believable.
Remember, it is when others believe in you that you can persuade them to side with you. It becomes very difficult to be believable if you aren’t honest enough with them—yes, even to the point of exposing your own vulnerability.
Yet you might point out that many people get away with lying and have even convinced others with it. Many in the realm of politics or showbiz put their best foot forward to prevent getting criticized and advance their careers.
Unfortunately, this kind of convincing power is only short-lived. Sooner or later, the truth will come out and people realize that they have been taken in. They end up losing their credibility. Honesty is what wins battles permanently.
Yes, it’s true that telling the truth can make you vulnerable. But it is this genuine revelation of the soul that makes it possible for other people to listen and give you what you want. You may risk getting hurt but it is the only way to make winning arguments.
Telling the truth is never easy because we expose ourselves to others who could potentially hurt us. But it is the only way to really connect with people and win. What makes it difficult for many people to be honest is because society itself has put a premium on appearances than on exposing one’s true self.
People are judged based on what they wear so that someone who doesn’t fit the stereotype is immediately seen as an outcast. If you hold this mindset, you are abandoning the only resource that will make you win wars—your honesty. By being genuine, you make yourself credible and believable. Your own credibility is what will bring you victory as far as argumentation is concerned.
Of Power and Listening
Using power to win an argument is not a one-way street. You have to listen to what the other party has to say. In fact, a person’s inability to really listen to what the other side is saying is, more often than not, the cause of his failure to win an argument. Remember, the other side has something to say.
The reason why conflict exists in the first place is because both sides feel that they are right and that the other is wrong. Naturally, you and your opponent would go to great lengths to prove that the side you are on is the one that is correct.
Thus, it’s important for you to listen to what the other side has to say. And when we mean listen, we mean listening actively. You must try to decipher what the person is really saying beyond the words that are being said. There is usually pain, anger and sorrow that drove them to argue with you in the first place.
You have to know what that is. Otherwise, you won’t hear what it is that they are really saying and will fail to recognize weak points in their argument that will allow you to convince them that your position has merit. Listening also entails studying their body language—how they talk and move. More frequently, people give their position away because of their movements.
Listening will also pave the way for understanding. When you listen, you begin to understand the other side’s point of view and may perhaps come to the realization that they do have a point. When this happens, you may decide to settle or concede that they are right. Doing so does not mean that you are handing over your power to them. Rather, it is acknowledging the truth—the reason why people go to great lengths to argue. When the truth has been found then victory has been achieved and your power has already served its purpose for that particular situation.
No related posts.
No related posts.