How to win an argument

Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne shares her best tips to win over the opposition.

business woman speech bubble talking

Photo, iStock.

1. Don’t think of it as competition

Think of it as consensus building. You’re not going to reach a truly positive solution if you view a disagreement as a competition.

2. Listen actively

Try restating or reframing what the other person has said, or even ask a question. Make eye contact to show you’re truly engaged.

3. Reserve judgment

My authority as premier allows me to say, “This is the way it’s going to be.” When I first came into office I realized that some people were waiting for me to do that. But I actually want to hear what everybody has to say, because that’s how we get to the best solutions.

4. Agree to disagree

Sometimes it’s best to go with the solution that the largest number of people can live with, while acknowledging the disagreements around the table. As long as everyone feels they’ve been heard and the process was respectful, they won’t be as upset about a decision that goes against their opinion.