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Winning a conversation

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But missing the point.

After all, what is it you’re trying to accomplish? Sharing something important? Asking for help? Passing time? Teaching something? Learning something? Earning trust? Winning a friend?

If you really want to ‘win’ the conversation, employ the same tactics you would to win a friend or catch a fly.

A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall. So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey which catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the high road to his reason
— Abraham Lincoln

Intent matters. Intent is always what is communicated, no matter which words are or aren’t used. It opens new doors and shuts possible ones.

So pay attention, it might feel like you are winning the conversation, but is that what really matters?