Four Ways to Win An Argument

So often, when I’m asked for advice, it is really about how to win in life; how to settle discourse. One thing I’ve found is that most who are asking, are asking from a position of their rights or being right. Winning in life is truly not so much about being right as it is about getting it right. Here are Four Ways to Win an Argument – any argument.


  1. Be Honest – Standing your ground on anything less than truth places you on a shaky foundation. If you’re in conflict with someone smart, they will see through you and chances are, whether you win or lose the argument, you risk losing your friend and your reputation. It’s still true that Honesty is the best policy.
  2. Be Prepared – This long standing Boy Scouts motto is founded on wisdom. Whether your argument is fueled at home, at work or at play, if your position is worth arguing for, its worth being prepared for. This means studying to be fully informed, not just fully committed. You may be committed to a viewpoint, but if your picture is not clear, you could lose your whole focus.
  3. Be Empathetic – It’s never enough to just know where you’re coming from. Know where ‘they’re’ coming from, too. The Art of War teaches this, and so do I. I’ve learned through many years that winning is not always about a single thing. It is about the opportunity to give, to be reliable and to Love.
  4. Understand Compromise – Most arguments, at root, are not born from wanting different things, but from seeing different ways to get to a same result. Ask yourself, “Is this argument about what I want, or about how I win?” Too often, winning becomes more about disengaging the thoughts, rights or things of another than about achieving a result. The wins and the respect you gain in life rely on the respect you give. Compromise is elegant; and, compromise is not about Winner Take All – rather – We All May Win.

Janice Bryant Howroyd

Businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author, mentor and Presidential Special Appointee, Janice Bryant Howroyd is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Act •1 Group, a global leader providing customized cutting edge solutions in the human resources industry.