I have had many people who have read my books or attended my seminars ask, “What is the best way to shut down conflict or an argument immediately?” I am glad people ask but I don’t always think they are going to like my answer. Furthermore, I don’t know how much one’s ego will accept my advice should they be all about winning arguments. Having said this, I am going to throw out to you which I consider a nearly full proof way to de-escalate any anger-filled situation.

Do you work in hostile environment? Do you feel no matter how much you try to be successful, you are always shooting yourself in the foot by running your mouth? Perhaps you should put that same foot in your mouth beforehand to save you future grief! Let’s face it, to get ahead in the work world, sometimes you have to behave assertively, which might come off appearing aggressively and some people are not going to like it. There will always be those who will stand in your way and you may perceive them as being obstacles for your success.

I receive e-mails from readers all of the time complaining how they are always bickering or arguing with spouses, children, parents, other family members, co-workers, bosses and friends. In a nut shell, it’s always those closest to them they are emotionally involved with who have the greatest ability to stir their pot. It’s those you have a vested emotional interest in who are most likely to ignite you and get your blood boiling. Furthermore, it’s often times those who think they are better than you or want to be better than you who will engage you in conflict to see where they measure up to you.

Whenever confronted with a situation on the verge of provoking prolonged conflict or anger, tell the other person, “You’re right and I am wrong.” Folks, it may sound like a cop out, surrender or cheesy way out, but guess what? It works! Most people argue for the sake of arguing. They argue to feel powerful. They argue because they want to be right. Some just argue for the attention and a sense of acceptance. Telling others, “You’re right and I am wrong,” caters to these agendas.

When others you are arguing with first hear this statement, they are either blown away by confusion, surprise and shock! Some will continue to argue with you because they have misunderstood what you just said and once it clicks, they are confused, surprised and shocked! Once you restate it to them, they will shift to a mindset of awe—Is he or she saying what I really thing they are saying rings through their headspace like Eddie Van Halen performing a guitar virtuoso at a Buffalo Philharmonic concert! Saying this with some conviction and sincerity will blindside most people. They have absolutely no way of figuring out how to respond because they are caught off guard.

When you respond to people this way, it immediately take one’s mind out of argumentative mode and shifts it to interpretation mode. They are the one’s trying to figure out, “What just happened?” While their mind is processing and still trying to analyze the situation, this is your chance to exit stage right! And if you choose to stay and face more music, this is the chance to turn conflict into a more favorable situation and pour more sugar into the mix and get what you really want…resolution and/or compromise. Most people in the work world like to engage in conflicts because it makes them feel important. For some, winning the conflict is more important than succeeding in the true issue at hand.

Keep in mind, conflict usually occurs because people are afraid of change. Change is always needed for growth and people are resistant to growing, especially when they live in the domain of status quo. Arguing and conflicting is a way for many to keep the status quo alive and well. It is the umbilical to their static presents and proud pasts. Sometimes, feeling right and being reassured is all someone needs as the “kick in the butt” to help them evolve and move forward. Nothing can be more true than evolution in goal setting and business success!

I offer this strategy for those with really bad anger or for those who are tired of the same arguments with the same people. From the thousands I have worked with and who have applied my principles, I know they work because they tell me. Most will say that once they can get past their own egos to come up with the moxie to say, “You’re right and I am wrong,” they are on their way to smooth sailing. It takes time and practice but what do you have to lose…Perhaps your sanity? Looking ahead and thinking about the fruits of success make it that much easier to tell others that they are right when in the end great success generates feelings of righteousness for all!