The Art Of Arguing

When people don't know how to argue well, they tend to avoid or delegate conflict. The denial adds another layer of complexity to what remains unresolved. We fabricate an uneasy and inauthentic consensus that masks rather than benefits from the conflicts at play. Arguing well is dialogue from an attitude of relentless openness. We talk with openness about what we know, what we don't, what we wish. We sustain openness about what is unresolved, complex, ambiguous and uncertain. Even when we come to conclusions and agreements, we stay open to the unfolding of other possibilities. We talk with faith they we can surprises each other and ourselves with new questions and insights beyond whichever we declare significant.

We don't take the unresolved personally. As we expect life to remain intrinsically contradictory, we don't create the negative tension of fighting from the sides of either-or. We come together in the more fertile spaces of both-and.

When we create a culture of arguing well, differences becomes rich possibility opportunities rather than sources of tension and avoidance. We become smarter together.