Argument or Discussion: The Purpose

Sometimes we may miss the point, the objective, of heated communication


Treating discussions as competitions can harm relationships and hinder progress. Instead, discussions should aim for mutual understanding, reducing barriers, and fostering reciprocity.
Building rapport and empathetic listening are key to effective persuasion. Creating common ground and understanding can lead to more successful communication and progress.
Argument or discussion
Richard Birke Lead Facilitator and Trainer

In the latest edition of the Communication Intelligence Newsletter, Richard Birke, chief architect of JAMS Pathways, provides his insight into how disagreement can be a challenging mental space, especially when felt intensely, and can often lead to unproductive, combative reactions. He emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between arguments and discussions in resolving complex, multi-party disputes. Birke explains,

“Argument is explicitly about trying to persuade someone to adopt your point of view. Discussion is about the exchange of ideas. It’s less zero sum.”

Birke underscores that constructive debate and empathetic listening are crucial, especially in professional settings where relationships are ongoing. His insights highlight the value of understanding and cooperation over the pursuit of victory in communication. Read the full article here.

This page is for general information purposes. JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness. Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals.
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