“How To Argue Better To Win More Negotiations” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“To make an argument more acceptable faster, base it on the beliefs of those involved.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)

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“How To Argue Better To Win More Negotiations”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

If you wish to become more persuasive in your negotiations, you must learn to argue your points better. To do that, you must adhere to the three factors of a good argument, along with how you position your views and opinions. If you assemble the components correctly, not only will you become more persuasive when arguing, you’ll also increase your negotiation outcomes. Here’s how to do that.  

Be Civil

Even when the opposing negotiator assailes your sensibility of civility, don’t act in kind. Instead, maintain your calm. It would be best if you strive not to become drawn into a heated discussion. Being drawn into a heated debate will detract from your ability to use logic and reasoning effectively. An added benefit of being civil, with most negotiators (you’d have to adopt a different strategy against one that attempts to bully you), is the fact that they’ll run out of steam if you don’t feed their actions with those of incivility. Suffice it to say, being civil will help establish the positioning of your argument. It’ll also help to position you as someone that speaks from the point of logic and facts.

Three Components Of Good Arguments

1. Ethos

To establish the foundation of an argument, a negotiator should employ ethos as its foundation. Ethos consists of convincing the other negotiator that you possess a good character. When done correctly, it helps to position you as a fair and balanced negotiator. Thus, you must cite merits based on credible and reliable sources to enhance your persona when you use this component in an offer or counteroffer.  

2. Pathos

Pathos usage in an argument evokes the emotional aspect of reasoning. Thus, the more emotions you can engender in the other negotiator’s mind, if she perceives such appropriately, the greater will be your ability to have her receive and accept your argument.  

3. Logos

Clear logic is the third component to creating a good argument. And the proper usage of logos achieves that outcome. It allows you to appeal to the other negotiator logically.

To implement its use, you must offer clear, concise, and substantive information upon which you present your argument. It would help to ingrain upon your opponent the value and logic of your statements. The more your message is seated in logical reasoning, the deeper it will reside in her mind. That will also allow you to become more persuasive and influential with her.     

Two Forms Of Arguments

1. Deductive Logic

Deductive logic is applied when you display empirical proof that’s agreed to and tie it to your premise. The more irrefutable your evidence, the less likely your counterpart will argue a counterpoint. To employ it, apply the essential facts at hand to your argument. Do that by using the following four elements:

A.) Issue – state the current issue at hand

B.) Rule – Identify any rules that you’ve agreed to, or create them, to address the issue

C.) Application – Apply the rule you create to that issue – if you can use it to apply to other negotiation circumstances you may encounter, you’ll enhance your position. Accordingly, make sure the application is to your negotiation advantage.

D.) Conclusion – be sure the application of the agreement you and the other negotiator arrive at matches the outcome you sought.

2. Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning relies on an individual arriving at conclusions based on internal rationale. In this case, you’d position your argument to start with an observation instead of a rule – one you and your opponent agreed to.

To maximize inductive reasoning’s usage, point to situations that have occurred that substantiates your position. Have facts to back them up. The most salient point to remember about inductive reasoning is it allows for the outcome to be false even if the premise is true. Thus, you might guard against a negotiator turning this form of reasoning against you.


Some negotiation offers will not require a rebuttal. In a negotiation, it’s right at times to ignore some requests. By doing so, you test the degree of importance they have to your opponent. Meaning, if his inquiry or offer doesn’t get a response and he backs away from it, the solicitation held little importance to him. Thus, you can avoid the give-and-take that you might otherwise engage in by ignoring some requests.

Never overlook the importance of timing when addressing demands, inquisitions, or the desire to have you redress a situation. If you know when and when not to, you can avoid the need to argue your point in some cases. And in all cases, that will prove to be beneficial to your negotiation position.


Unlike, maybe when you were a kid, the words “because I said so” doesn’t work in most negotiations. Most likely, that won’t help your argument. The opposite is, “you’re right,” which can be a way to set your opponent up to become more receptive to your views.

To win arguments in your negotiation, you must have more substance to the merit of your pronouncements. To acquire that, incorporate the usage of ethos, pathos, and logos into your negotiations. Doing so will boost your perceived credibility. And that will make the opposing negotiator more amenable to consenting to your concessions. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight,” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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