Blog Post

Should you intervene in an argument?

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 27 November 2019



Should you intervene in an argument?
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 233
Posted DateWednesday 27 November 2019 11:43 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen

What should you do if two people you know are arguing in front of you? Should you intervene in some way?

I have a rule (that I often break through lack of discipline), "never argue or try to advise someone when they are emotional." They do not appreciate it and only get more emotional and argumentative. The time to have a conversation, if one is needed, is the next day or later when the emotion has subsided.

Many people naturally engage in arguments and are the best of friends an hour or two later. Likely, by intervening, you will only make things worse, or they will turn on you.

If you feel you must do something then as I suggest above, do it the following day - not with the two of them together but one on one. And, don't give advice, even if solicited. Just take the time to listen. This post in my blook provides the rationale for "don't give advice." (prompted by Peter Block).

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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