Winning an Argument

Posted in Communication, Management, Strategies on August 6, 2015 by MD OBSERVER

Before everything, sorry for my long absence. I’m sure you understand that managing several international projects, reviewing new phases of I.M.M., and on top of those having a few books in the pipeline are time consuming. But I promise, I will continue writing ‘MD Observer’ more regularly.
Well, not very far from the topic of my new book, ‘Hidden’, which you can read more about it at the end of this post, I have decided to allocate this post to ‘How strategically win an argument’.

In this post, I will briefly introduce you the Weapon, Technique, Tactic and Strategies for winning an Argument.

CALMNESS IS YOUR WEAPON:
Remember, those who can make you angry, are in control. By staying focus and having self-control you can add up to your chances to gain more during a heated argument.
Do your best not to lose your temper. Losing your temper will eventually turn your conversation into screaming, a total waste of time with no proper and constructive communication.
Some people might intentionally say things to get under your skin. This is to disarm you, and make you vulnerable. Remember, you don’t have to respond to every sentence you hear.

THE TRUTH IS YOUR TECHNIQUE:
The truth can really hurt. Base your argument on ‘Facts’, NOT on ‘Emotions’. The worst action that one might take during an argument is making it a conversation based on feelings.
Although time to time showing controlled emotion is important, but certainly it is not the ideal technique to succeed in an argument.
Think like an Attorney presenting a case in a court. Would you agree with an Attorney at law, who does not have any facts to present?

TO PROVE THE POINT IS YOUR TACTIC:
Remember, the core purpose of an argument is to ‘Prove’ a point tactfully. If instead of proving your point, you go side-ways, you might end up in a weak position. Know your audience, do your homework, be prepared, review every angle of your argument back and forth and know it by heart. The best tactic is to stay focus on ‘proving the point’, but gently and with utmost respect.

ACTIVE LISTENING AND PAINTING A PICTURE ARE YOUR STRATEGIES:
Have you considered why often people yell during arguments? Well, they want you to listen to them. So, to gain a more favorable outcome, be an active listener and give your undivided attention to their argument. In this manner, most likely you will be in control.
Also, paint a picture for them: describe your facts clearly so that they can visualize your argument and connect with it. Those who can visualize factual information, most likely will give you less pain. You will save a lot of energy if your argument is well-painted.

————-
As mentioned above, I am happy that my new book is published. This book is a series of scientific articles on secret techniques and tactics of Japanese-Okinawan Martial Arts. Those of you with interest in Martial Arts and Martial Strategies will most probably enjoy reading that and I am sure can apply the insights into your business practice and/or life.

Hidden Book Cover - Mosi Dorbayani

You can find out more about the book by clicking on HERE

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Office Politics

Posted in Communication, Organisational Culture, Strategies on April 11, 2013 by MD OBSERVER

Recently I had a nice chat with a couple of newly appointed managers at Royal Bank of Canada on ‘Office Politics’ and that gave me the idea for this issue.

Before everything what is “Office Politics”? Well, every Executive Coach / Consultant might define it differently, but in my view Office Politics can be interpreted as Careful strategies that staff implement in order to gain advantage in their office!  Such strategies might be justified for personal gains or for a cause they believe in. Yes, it has negative connotation and it is often dubbed as taking advantage at the expenses of others and it certainly affects the workplace, environment and relations.

Is there such a thing as “good” Office Politics? Affirmative. Good Office Politics help you to gain promotion, gather support and get your cause realized. Good Office Politics can be called ‘networking’ and ‘managing influences’. Since such office strategy  is generally considered a negative play, staff tend to avoid it; however,  to secure success for projects, eventually one would need to find the safest way to navigate through this highly sensitive aspect of career.

If you reject Office Politics and constantly deny it, you may badly suffer, simply because others take unfair advantage of it, and if you do not learn how to practice “good” Office Politics, you might miss opportunities. So, here there are certain highlights that you should remember, learn and practice:

A) Office Politics are inevitable and can be found in any organisation regardless their size or form, private or governmental, profit or nonprofit.

B) Gaining profit, Promotion, Superiority create competition; therefore, where there is a competition, there is a need for Office Politics.

C) Resources and opportunities are not endless and often staff experience conflict in attaining and maintaining resources and their competitiveness.

Now in order to have Office Politics work for you, you need to :

1. Be a good observer and gather information to build up a proper network for yourself;

2. Study the organisational chart carefully and analyze it in practice.  In the chart of hierarchy, the person who is on the top  may not be the most influential one;

3. Pinpoint those who are truly influential, who have authority but not applying it, who are coaching and mentoring others,  and who are the brain and strategists of your organisation;

4. Understand who gets along with who, who is suffering from conflict, who is hard to please and who is easy to get on;

5. Know what fundamental factors make interrelations work or not work, what influence relations and friendship;

6. Know what the manipulative factors are, and what people see as ‘respect’.

Once you accepted A, B, C and studied 1 to 6 above, it is time to develop yourself in  Good Office Politics:

  • True powerful people are not necessarily those with highest income, who are on the top of your organisational hierarchy  with fancy titles. Do not be reluctant nor afraid of approaching those you have learnt are powerful. Approach them, get to know them better, try to be associated with them.
  • Make sure your relations and strategies do not cross over your formal line of hierarchy and that they do not shortcut your immediate supervisor, other executives or even peers.
  • Form your relations based on trust and not based on kissing up to others. And don’t forget, “Trust is givable”. 
  • Be part of several networks such as other departments, affiliated companies, suppliers and providers. This shall give you a greater and wider vision on your organisation, its system and / or its market place.
  • Avoid making or extending gossips. Be a good listener, but do not take an active role in gossips! 

Never forget: “first we try, then we trust”. Unless you do not try and trust, nobody will do that for you. Gaining others’ trust and your projection of genuine good intentions are the key elements in playing  “Good” Office Politics.

 

‘NO’, IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE!

Posted in Communication on July 11, 2012 by MD OBSERVER

“Why some people can’t say NO?!”

Perhaps this issue could be looked at from three aspects (among others):

1- Time:

According to North Carolina Researchers, “People are more likely to expect a future surplus of time than they are to expect a future surplus of money.” If you’re like most people, you say ‘yes’ to do more things than you could possibly have time for, your appointment book is full but when it comes to actually showing up, you discover you’re too busy to do everything you’ve promised. You overcommit because you expect to have more time in the future than you do in the present. But then tomorrow becomes today and… yesterday’s “yes” becomes today’s “damn!” And you find yourself making excuses.

Here’s the interesting part. Researchers Gal Zauberman, Ph.D., and John Lynch, Jr., found we are more prone to mistakenly expect a future surplus of time than we are to expect a future surplus of money. We seem to be much more accurate in our money forecasting”

The future is always ideal: The fridge is stocked, the weather clear, the train runs on schedule and meetings end on time. Today, well, stuff happens. That’s because every day’s a little different, say the researchers. The nature of time fools us and we “forget” about how things fill our days.” 1

2- Reward:

Some researchers believe that the function of “Reward Center” of the brain or ‘nucleus accumbens’ is actually responsible for some people find it simply impossible to resist. In their stimulus study on food and sex, Bill Kelley, associate professor of Dartmouth’s department of psychological and brain sciences, says the study demonstrated that the stronger the response to a stimulus, the less able the subject is to say ‘no’.2 So perhaps this breakthrough may assist us to consider that there might be a sort of mental satisfaction from accepting more than what we could chew!

 3- Approval:

Let’s accept this fact. Often when we make a commitment, it is not for improving opportunities or building up long lasting relations, they are for momentary approval from those who surround us or those we wish to keep satisfied. At workplaces this often happens to show flexibility and to some extent to prove our capabilities, even though we know that we don’t have time for it.

Many staff say ‘Yes’ because they don’t want to let down their boss and look incompetent or incapable. Saying that you don’t have time to do a task might make you look uncooperative but it doesn’t help anybody if you say ‘Yes’ while knowing you can’t complete the task.  It would just create a mess.

This can apply in our private lives too. Saying ‘No’ might cast you as ‘cold’, ‘mean’ and ‘less understanding’, but bear in mind that sometimes saying ‘Yes’ without a real well-calculated commitment, would just create ‘crisis’ and might take your peaceful life away!

If at work, learn how to tactfully and diplomatically say No.

–   Thank your boss for the opportunity (Because at least there is a learning opportunity in everything a company does);

–    Ask for time to see how you can manage the task;

–    Once you are sure you can’t make it, politely remind your boss on your other projects at hand and ask if the new task is more urgent than the on-going ones;

–    Ask if the new task can be shared with your peers (share the credit and raise the spirit of teamwork);

–    Be honest and if you can’t undertake the task, say it.

In private life, if people around you are inconsiderate and can’t appreciate your excuse and still push you to commit against your will and interest, learn even not to explain yourself for saying ‘No’, because in my view, ‘NO, IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE!’

Ref:

1-      Hara Estroff Marano – Published on March 16, 2005, Psychologytoday.com

2-      Daniel Miller – Mail Online 24 April 2012 dailimail.co.uk

CHINA’S + 1

Posted in Human Resources, Strategies on February 9, 2012 by MD OBSERVER

Recently had a session with a group of highly talented new HR and Development  Consultants to ASEAN , the discussions with whom made me to think and ask this question:

Will Vietnam be China’s + 1?

‘Crowding out’ effect of China has worried many for the past years, but yet again China presents itself a big opportunity!  China could become world’s fastest growing economy by turning itself into the world’s largest factory.  While China’s dominant position on this is not a question, rising overheads and wages are driving many companies to look for alternatives and additional low-cost manufacturing in the region.

With joining WTO in 2007, lower wages and strategic location, Vietnam is a convenient bridge between Southeast Asia and China. It is so well-situated that entities are growing a “China’s + 1” approach towards this nation of  87 million people.

However Vietnamese are hostile to China and that they know running their business in the shadow of a giant dragon isn’t easy and risk free, but their ruling Communist party has maintained close ties with Beijing and opened up their economy to private sectors by similarly putting ideology aside.

Vietnam’s economy has been growing over the past decade and according to World Bank the country attained “Average/Middle Income” status in 2011. However there is macro economic instability there, but in my view Vietnam can resolve that by fostering reform in their bureaucracy, education system, infrastructure and boosting exports. Vietnam can certainly gain from China and enjoy being ‘China’s + 1’ .

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE!

Posted in Human Resources, Uncategorized on October 18, 2011 by MD OBSERVER

The current affairs and the protesters behind Occupy Wall Street have made me to write a few words on ‘Change’!.

In my opinion what we are witnessing is stepping into level two in the intensity levels of need for change and most probably it will soon get into the third level, which is component for a sort of revolution!

Let us look at the levels in turn:

Change is a relation between what come prior to the change (the old) and what comes after it (the new); or it can be the other way round. The difference in the levels reflects whether the new comes before the old or after it.

As we develop and progress throughout life, it is often necessary for us to change some of our attitudes in order to adjust ourselves into changing circumstances.

Attitudes can be changed either by experiencing different consequences of established behaviour, for example, if we find ourselves in a new situation, or by changing our beliefs.  In every society, within the process of personal development and progress there are three levels of change. These psychological levels are those of beliefs, attitudes, and traits.

1 – Change of beliefs: This form of change is comparatively a moderate one. It is concentrated in change of beliefs; therefore, it is ‘mind’ centered. Since this form of change is relatively mild, neither the individual nor society experiences much depth of psychological pain and sorrow during the course of change. This level is the component for Political Reform!

2 – Change of attitudes: This form of change is a comparatively major one, which is quite difficult to undergo. It reflects the attainment of awareness and required understanding of the core needs for change. This is the way to clarifying problems and often the two factors of ‘feelings’ and ‘emotions’ play important roles here. Since this form of change is a major one, both the individual and society will experience pain and sorrow that is deep and extensive. This level is the component for a Political Rebellion!

3 – Change of traits: This is comparatively much deeper and relates to ‘motivation’. For example, a person who is obsessed with power and money, is unlikely to respect anyone who is weaker and less fortunate than themselves; in order to develop respect for others, the obsession with power has to fade in importance first. In this example, the motivation has become the desire for power, and ‘respect’ is the trait, which is lacking.

In a changing world, in order to find psychological balance in such matters, socially-centered idealist people need to develop traits of individuality, and the individual idealist needs to develop traits of social concern. Since in such situations people feel pain and sorrow due to lack or absence of ‘will power’, they most probably tend to join forces by sharing beliefs and supporting one another’s attitude for their common cause to establish change. This level is the component for a Political Revolution!

Let us not forget that the main factors of Change are ‘feeling’, ‘beliefs’ and ‘traits’, which are all connected to the “willpower”.

And the will of people is quite simple: a different ‘trait’, “a fair trait”. It all began from a simple march (an expression of reform) went on to use of pepper spray and mass arrests (an indication of rebellion) and now spreading worldwide (igniting a massive revolution).

Change is inevitable!

BAD BOSS: A CHALLENGE MANY EMPLOYEES FACE

Posted in Human Resources, Management on May 2, 2011 by MD OBSERVER

Generally a bad Boss is described as a bully, picky, petty, intrusive and controlling individual. They often make employees weary and frustrated; interactions with them usually reach dead ends; they take credit for employees’ work and never provide positive feedback or support; they tend not to keep their schedules with the employees and they usually fail to support their staff under pressure.

A bad Boss can be found in every organisation; however, the definition of “BAD” could depend on the employee’s requirements or needs, and whether the Boss has the essential managerial skills to satisfy those needs. Therefore, “Bad Boss” can be situational! In one of my recent coaching sessions with a senior officer at a major Bank, I sought the reason behind his reluctance in giving directions and feedback to his team. He said that he assumed by not providing directions, he was ‘empowering’ his team!

In another department a manager who was micromanaging every aspect of the tasks at hand was not realizing that he was insulting the intelligence of his competent staff and that he was doing it actually due to his own insecurity. So, sometimes they don’t know that they are bad! Perhaps they lack training or they are overwhelmed with their own job requirements so much so that it prevents them to support their staff. Or maybe they are promoted quickly and their experience and reporting responsibilities don’t match up.

For whatever reason, the bottom line is: bad Bosses don’t share employees’ values and that is the problem. How to tackle?

Well, start by talking with them. Tell them what you need in terms of feedback, directions, support etc. Do not tell them they are bad bosses because this is counterproductive and raises tension. Ask them how you can contribute to help them to reach their goals and provide the needed assistance.

If these two did not help you, go to your Human Resources and share your experience and feeling with them. If that didn’t work either ask for an appointment with your Boss’s manager and seek their advice. Since your current Boss may get offended, make sure you have done what you can between you before taking your issues up the line.

If you believe the problem is that your Boss can’t OR won’t change, ask for a transfer to another department, which would suggest that you surely like your organisation, employer and your work. If a transfer is unavailable, begin your search for a new job but plan and conduct  this carefully.

Your Network is Your Net Worth!

Posted in Organisational Culture, Strategies on February 9, 2011 by MD OBSERVER

While denting and breaking off a partnership with a supplier/customer would probably take less than a few seconds, building a sound relation based on mutual benefits and understanding takes years.

In my recent observation from two companies, one in Telecommunication and the other in field of Electronics, I sadly learnt that despite of the fact that both companies have certain joint venture projects, their attitude towards maintaining relations with their suppliers and service providers are varied!

One believes relations are just defined by the market-place and economy is the nominator, while the other believes in maintaining a well-established relations, even if on a smaller scale and down sizing transactions.

Here is my point of view: if you could successfully build a mutual partnership that lasts more than 5 years, then it would be crazy not trying to hold on to your partnership, be it service or product, your customer or supplier.

If bad economy and market change are influencing your business, try at least to keep your relations on smaller scale till things recover.

Do not forget the fact of the 21st century: it is all about ‘Networking’, ‘Connection’, ‘Relation’, ‘Interaction’ and above all ‘Mutual Understanding’. The bigger your network with loyal and sound relationships, the better and more valuable cooperation.

Yes, in a competitive market, certainly it is easier to find replacement for your provider and supplier, who is probably even cheaper but the past history of the competitive market shows as well that those companies who stick with the values of the loyal partnership do better in the long run.

“A known devil is better than an unknown priest”!