HOW TO ARGUE AND WIN EVERYTIME
Jerry Spence startes off by asking why do we argue? He says that he doesn’t like to argue and he doesn’t like people that do. The confused me at first. He askes why not ty to get along, and besides when he argues he loses. He says we were born to make a winning argument just as we were born to walk. Mr. Spence says that we are so bound up, so mute. From the moment we have been conditioned to avoid confrontation. We have been taught not to let our emotions show. By the time we become adults the word argue calls up dark and negative feelings. Many throughout our lives have forced up to accept their ways, their relugion, their values, ect…
The key to our freedom is embarrassingly obvious. We need only to give ourselves permission, to unlock to doors. The key is to give ourselves permission to peer out of our closets and to look around, to ask questions and demand respect. We need to speak out and just to be. Most people are afriad to argue because it just causes trouble. Our arguements turn sour, the words ugly, the passages to the heart close, and the feelings of love are replaced by the hurt and the anger. But, fear is ourr ally. Fear confirms us. Fear is our energy that is convertible to POWER-our power. We need to learn not to afraid of our fear but to embrace it. If you feel your fear, you can also feel its power and you can change its power into YOUR power.
First, to win an argument, exhaustive preparation is essential. The most prepared person will usually win. In the preparation process, you must thoroughly research and understand your case, and you must also thoroughly research and understand your opponent’s position. You should know and understand the facts and arguments of your opponent better than he or she does.
Second, you must have a profound understanding of the thinking and emotions of the decision maker(s) – in his case, the jury. Your argument should be framed to harmonize with the decision makers’ values, wants and needs. You must understand the prejudices of the jurors and address the built-in objections they may have to your arguments. You must help them to understand the motives of your client and identify with them as their own. In other words, empathize with the jurors and help them empathize with your client. Mr. Spence emphasizes that, in order for the jurors to believe your arguments, you must argue from your own sincere belief. You also have to talk to them in their own language, treat them with respect and relate with them so they can relate back to you. If you act superior to them, you will probably make them your enemies and never gain their trust. Mr. Spence says that, in your personal relationships, you may find the only way to win an argument is to lose. If the only way to win your point is to destroy the relationship, you may find it’s better to concede.
This was an excellent book on argumentation skills. However, first you have to define what it is to win. What do you want to get from the argument and what are you willing to risk to get that? Through several examples he works out how to win by losing, how to win by empowering others, how to win by redirecting the prejudice of others or using that prejudice to your advantage, etc.
He spends a great deal of time discussing the importance of using stories to illustrate points and does a fine job of it. The book is filled with stories and experiences from his real life courtroom experiences and how his arguments affected the jury, sometimes in a manner that surprised him and sometimes in the manner he expected. Even when the results were a surprise he explains why, after thinking about it, the decision went the way it did.
The book is highly slanted toward the argument styles of a lawyer in front of a jury. However, it is useful to anyone in any