Thursday, May 27, 2010

How to fight fair

Rules for fighting fair:

1. One person at a time can speak. The other person can't speak while the other person speaks. Time limit is one minute.

2. No remarks that attack the speaker, for example "You're an idiot."

3. After the first person makes their remarks, restate the remark before you respond.

Example: Speaker one: I don't like people from Fallow Fields. You are always fighting. You get nothing done to improve your town because the people are always drunk or fighting or both.

Speaker two: So if I'm not mistaken, you think the people of Fallow Fields live in poverty because we are always fighting among ourselves or we're drunk. Is that the case?

Speaker one: It is.

Speaker two: Well the fact of the matter is, what you saw as fighting, was actually a protest that was infiltrated by outside agitators and became a riot. According to a 2009 study by the Gold Clover commission , Fallow Fields has one of the lowest rates of alcohol consumption in our county, the fewest taverns or bars in our five town area, and the lowest rate of underage drinkers in our state.

4. Agree ahead of time for how long the discussion will continue. Do not go over that time limit.

5. If one person wants to discontinue the discussion, allow it. But the other speaker gets the last word in.

6. Shake hands at the end of the discussion. Thank the person for a polite and thought provoking discussion.


Faith On The High Wire said...

Verbal engagements often turn ugly because people take the comments personally. It's much better to approach a discussion understanding in advance that YOU are not the subject matter. As you suggest, you'll have a better chance of having a civilized discussion.

PS...thanks for the kind words and supportive comments on my blog this morning!

Lily said...

Thought provoking. I've taught this to my children, but never with formal rules. Hmmm, you've got me thinking.

Mary Bennett said...

I often think about family arguments, if we can't fight fair in a family, what hope is there among different poitical parties, different countries etc? I think it should be taught in schools.


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