How to win every debate/discussion?

Influencing others is a key role for leaders in the community sector. We are bombarded with opportunities for consultation, co-design, or round table discussions. However, it was only whilst listening to ABC Radio the other day I was able to pinpoint the common problem we often face.

It is common to enter such conversations with the aim of influencing others. In other words, we state our case in the hope others see sense. However, the chances of success are limited as others enter the discussion the same aim, but with different ideas.

In contrast, if we enter these conversations with the explicit aim of influencing or being influenced, we can win every time. We still get to state our case, but this time we can focus on learning rather than winning – creating space for a better final decision for everyone.

Stuart Tomlinson
CEO, Multicultural Futures