"Winning" Workplace Arguments is Really Just Consensus Building
In Workplace Negotiating Secrets From Bethenny's Shrink over at Forbes.com, Xavier Amador, the therapist on Bethany Getting Married? gives his "secrets" for "winning" workplace arguments. What Amador suggests (below and at the link) is really just collaborative interest-based negotiation, but his catchy acronym - LEAP - is a good one to remember for all negotiations, whether you're brokering peace in the Middle East or getting your guy to put the toilet seat down. If you read the article, and I highly recommend doing so, you'll see that no one is "winning" any "argument." Rather, people are finding ways to accomodate all of their needs simultaneously.
Amador, 50, uses many of the same methods with both individuals and corporate clients. His book I'm Right, You're Wrong, Now What?, lays out a strategy he calls LEAP, for listen, empathize, agree, partner. It applies to salary negotiations, to disagreements with partners or colleagues or underlings and even to challenging sales assignments.
An acronym enthusiast ("acronyms help me to remember"), Amador says the first step is "L," for listen. That may sound simple, but often it's very hard. In sales, for instance. Before he became a psychologist, Amador worked for an Arizona company that sold solar heating. Rather than simply trying to push his product, he found he got further if he patiently listened to his potential clients' objections.