Escape hatches in an argument

“The most important thing in an argument, next to being right, is to leave an escape hatch for your opponent, so that he can gracefully swing over to your side without too much apparent loss of face.” – Sidney J. Harris

This is a tip for for dealing with people who have more influence or power. I see this all the time when young and smart people get seduced into an argument with someone about a decisions or calls they’ve made. Sometimes it’s the right decision but the team isn’t on board with the idea because egos have been bruised or the more powerful person doesn’t want to concede to a junior person.

The argument becomes about the principle vs. getting everyone to agree to the plan….remember the latter is what you want to achieve. Instead of proving you are right, give the person an escape hatch to save face and agree with you.



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