One of the most effective ways to positively and gently “disarm” a person with whom you are having a disagreement, plus win them over to your side of the issue, is to first point out their side of the story.
In other words, discover and vocalize the areas in which you agree with them – that is, where you not only can understand how they feel, but where their view actually makes sense. When doing this you, in essence, say to them, “Hey, there are two legitimate viewpoints here. You also have a reasonable argument – you have a view that is very worthy of consideration.”
Now he or she can relax and let go of their defensiveness. They know they are not in a battle with someone out to get them, prove them wrong or otherwise look to win and, while doing so, “take no prisoners.”
He or she will have a newly-found respect for you, and a newly-opened mind toward the ideas you present. In fact, after doing this, the other person will typically point out the positive aspect of your side. And, why not? You are now showing mutual respect, and working from a foundation of truth, kindness and genuine interest in each other.
In Part Two, we’ll look at a former president who was an expert at using this method.