Listening while debating may seem like a null sentence but you’ll be surprised at how well that works!

A debate about new business ideas starts when two people have different points of view. A conflict as such can be very healthy because it encourages you to think harder in order to support your views. When you do that you come to conclusions about the topic and look at it from angles that you didn’t touch before. However, during a debate, it is not easy to keep it professional. At some point you will feel like the other person is attacking you on the personal level (even when he isn’t) and that is where you shut your ears to everything he/she says. That is actually quite unprofessional. You may even go off topic completely and start attacking each other.

To avoid that, we have some steps that you can follow:

Start With “How”

When you start, you must establish what you have in common with each other rather than directly discussing your disagreement. Start off by asking how the person came to the conclusion. This will disclose the story behind the new business ideas and not the reason. At this time, you must open-mindedly listen to what he/she is saying. As the person talks, you could imagine being in their position and understanding from where that thought process is coming. Things will make sense to you when you do this.

Be Open

Most of us are extremely stubborn and simply cannot stand losing. While some of us accept defeat grudgingly, so many others refuse to give in even after realizing that their business plan is wrong. This is because our egos shut our minds. We do not like being proved wrong and we sometimes go to many lengths to support ourselves. You must stop that. There are chances that the other person is right and when you realize that, you should take in their views and be willing to change your opinion. Otherwise, no one will benefit from the debate.

Do Not Trivialize The Experience

You have already asked the story and you know from where the thought has come. It would be wrong to trivialize that experience and to question someone’s feelings. Instead, you may question the result or the interpretation of the particular experience due to which they came up with the particular business strategy. This is key throughout small business management. You must never question what another person feels because that can be annoying.


One of the most important business leadership skills is being able to stay focused even when your new business ideas are not being accepted. Do not try to change the topic or lose sight of the debate just because you are not doing well or because you want things to go in your favor.

How do you handle a debate? Let us know in the comments section.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Wining the debate means getting a fruitful result even if it is against your new business ideas. That will happen only when you keep an open mind and listen to what the other person is saying. Always make sure you pay attention and do not lose focus through the conflict.

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] /

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