Four Stars

how to argueHow to Argue Powerfully, Persuasively and Positively is the first in an ebook box set on personal relations that I’m working my way through.

Just mention the word “argue” and my blood pressure goes up. I’m famously non-confrontational, yet opinionated, which mostly just stresses me out. So, this book was pretty useful.

Herring walks us through the different types of arguments we have in business and our personal lives. In all cases, he stresses the importance of preserving the relationship. He makes note of when it makes sense to walk away and when to stand your ground. He also gets into the basics of formulating a good argument and how to do so under pressure, when necessary.

Many people don’t think of it this way, but in business, preserving a relationship is just as important as in your personal life. In commercial situations especially, it’s very possible to win an argument but lose a customer, or even lose your job.

A fair amount of the book is spent discussing when it’s worthwhile to confront someone, and when you should just cut your losses, or even better, try a different approach. If you’re the type of person who argues with everyone, Herring provides tips on how to become more agreeable without sacrificing your integrity.

He provides special tips for arguing with a spouse and with children of various ages. If you are the cantankerous type, or a doormat, you can probably learn something of value from this book. In some ways, there seems to be a lot of plain, commonsense advice, but that’s usually the first thing to go out the window in the heat of the moment.

Usefully, Herring provides plenty of real-life examples to help you identify what kind of argument is presenting itself and the specifics in dealing with it.

I recommend this to pretty much everyone, but internet trolls in particular!