The television version of life would tell you that an argument/discussion is about who is right and who is wrong. You each present your side and then whatever side is the most right will “win the argument”. Obviously, this doesn’t reflect reality.

Sometimes this is right. If both parties are truly trying to get to the right answer, it will be correct. However, most of the time people have other motivations.

If you want to convince someone of something, you need to understand why they are saying it. Do they believe it for the right reasons or is there something else going on? For example, the most common hidden objection I find is about control. In work, people want to have the final word on something. If you’re making a proposal that will take some of that power away from them, they will resist, whilst claiming it is for different reasons.

To progress, you need to not just listen to what people say, but think about why they’re saying it and find the real reason. When it’s about something like control, the likelihood is that you will never convince them. You’ll need to “work” the organization to go around them. Once you understand the real reasons, you can put together a proper plan to achieve what you want to.