This massive world has bottles of letters and all of them represent breakthrough ideas. Every letter has been surfaced down by a billion more letters. Our main question is: “How to make ‘our’ letter float?”


The book “Getting to Yes” illustrates how efficient communication can strengthen your opinion. This essay contains some of the techniques mentioned in the book and you might use them to make your letter float on the top.


We always tend to compete for who speaks first and who listens last. We always want to be the first one to be acknowledged. It is a behavioral norm to compete to speak louder than the other. If Martians land on planet Earth, they would claim: “This place is no less than a theater that is thrilled in performing to no audience (no one listens)”.


It is an indicator to confine us in groups of listeners who are comfortable speaking last. You might be able to correct a few words from your letter or avail yourself of a chance to collaborate by listening. Constant competition begins when you do not value other’s opinions. It diminishes the chance of starting a dialogue.


Before we understand how to hold a dialogue, it is important to understand how to avoid a competitive argument. Arguments evolve when basic human needs are not satisfied. Basic human needs include recognition and belonging. By diminishing a basic need, you make them defensive. Next time, notice when a person becomes defensive.


Dialogues do not exist in survival mode, and it is a privilege in most societies. It is manifested in healthy values and emotional intelligence. There is a reason diplomats have “diplomatic conferences” rather than “heated debates” about who is right. An argument is always rigid which stresses personal stances.


Personal stance is: “Your opinion stamped on the birth certificate. It is part of your identity”. A person who does not listen tends to stay where he is. To evolve in our lives, we must be willing to move, accept, and listen to stances that differ from ours. The art of listening and understanding ensures we rectify our shortcomings or unhealthy toxic patterns.


One way of practicing flexibility in changing or understanding others, is by using the statement “Correct me if I am wrong”. Such a simple statement satisfies the other party’s basic needs (recognition). In response when they correct you, it will redirect both parties to one page where mutual understanding exists so a magic statement to dodge an intense argument is “Correct me if I am wrong” (sparkly effects).


Most of the time, we claim that we are not too attached to our opinions, but still, we come off as too aggressive. “A spoiled child with no ears” is a common phrase to hear to define parties who constantly debate on politics. Both parties are too attached to their stances.


A lack of negotiation strategies ends up ruining the tone of the conversation. Negotiation strategies help to not fall into loopholes of gaslighting or competition, giving us space to analyze the direction of the conversation.


Another negotiating strategy to set a tone for the conversation is by “Ordering your explanation before the proposal” (not the romantic one, chill). It reinforces that is not a “YOU matter” it is a matter of reasoning that we all commonly share and agree upon. As written in Getting to Yes: “If you want someone to listen and understand your reasoning, give your interests and reasoning first and your conclusions and proposals later”.


Now imagine in a deep ocean, two goldfishes argue about the correct pronunciation of water- “waw-ter or wot-er”- a pointless argument. It is possible to conclude only when strategies are incorporated. It should not be hard to consider two arguers in Target imposing their stance on “Who should run the country”? An argument without a “purpose” should be avoided. If we are obtaining nothing from a pointless argument then we are losing something from it (energy, emotional intelligence, and time).


In the race of trying our best to make out letter float above, we forget it is necessary to learn to try to read other letters too. Reading what is already one of us is a wise move to learn. It may not be what you think or ever agree upon.


The main takeaway is to “try” to make yourself listen by listening to others too. This is how collaboration works. It all starts with the revolutionary shift from being an arguer to a negotiator.

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