Question everything. Nothing is true until proven true.
Entertain different viewpoints and perspectives even if you are not convinced by them. You learn the most from people you disagree with the most.
Have the conviction to defend your viewpoints.
Have the humility to change your viewpoints when someone has made a better point.
Be as honest and open as possible. This is how we build trust among one another.
Understand the issue
Avoid knee-jerk reactions. Invest time upfront to truly understand the underlying issue being debated. Carefully read the claim and existing Arguments before writing your own.
Ask clarifying questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand someone’s Argument or don’t see how their logic and evidence proves the point the person is trying to make.
Listen to both sides
Fully understand the other side before offering your own. List any points of agreement as a way to acknowledge that you heard the other side.
Address the issue as directly as possible. Present just enough context for the audience but don’t introduce too many tangents. If you have tangential points, save them for the Chat.
Provide a unique point of view
It’s easy to bandwagon off other thoughts but that’s not going to get us any further. Instead, reason your way through the argument independently. Bring your unique point of view to the table.
Keep it simple.
Keep Arguments simple and easy to understand. Don’t be afraid to edit and delete 50% of the first draft to tighten up your final argument. Simple is much harder than complex but leads to a more powerful Argument.
Focus on the issue, not the person
Don’t make arguments personal by bringing people into it. The reason conversations become hard is because it becomes an attack on the ego. Keep your identity out of the discussion.
No one likes to be shamed. Use constructive criticism. Your criticism should be constructed in a way that makes the other person want to respond.
Admit when you are wrong
It’s okay to be wrong. Seek to understand rather than to be right. Openly acknowledge when you are wrong and be willing to change your mind.