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Learning Module: Argumentation - Understanding Effective Reasoning

By Ric Willmot, Executive Wisdom
Argumentation is not a very well understood aspect of human communication. The word, argumentation, has connotations of being combative, contentious, unpleasant and quarrelsome. It is, however, a way for people to justify their beliefs and behaviours and to influence the thoughts and actions of others. It’s about influence and persuasion, through communication that attempts to motivate others by reasoned judgment.

Learning Module: Argumentation - Understanding Effective Reasoning  

Argumentation is a daily occurrence - everyone does it. It occurs everywhere, from structured debate to informal encounters, between young and old, friends and family, strangers and colleagues. But it is perhaps becoming a lost art as people increasingly interact with like-minded others who will be inclined only to agree with them. More and more, differences of opinion are seen as unbridgeable … and the advent of social media has brought a new medium of hate speech and personal attack on differing opinions.

The result of this decay in argumentation is that it weakens compromise, deliberation, and mutual understanding. Because of this, it’s important not to confuse destructive quarrels with argumentation. Argumentation is both a product and a process. The messages - both explicit and implicit - are the product, and they can be cast into language, analysed and appraised. Why does this matter? The audience is the ultimate judge of success or failure in argumentation. If the audience is uninterested in being open to effective reasoning which may be contrary to their existing belief, then rationale acceptance of a disparate view is unachievable.

The process of argumentation is to serve as a means of collective judgement and decision-making. Much of what we do and what we believe is uncertain and contingent, yet decisions are still required. Argumentation justifies decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Confident argumentation is a process of analysing ideas, claims, and issues to testing by an audience that is open to differing views and has the ability to cognitively decide based upon evidence placed before them.



About Ric Willmot 

Ric Willmot

Ric Willmot, known as "The Strategist" assists organisations to improve performance, productivity and profit. He is one of those rare people who can call himself a global consultant and trusted adviser to some of the world's leading businesses, governments and institutions, and REALLY mean it!

Ric and his company, Executive Wisdom Consulting Group, help leaders make distinctive, lasting and substantial improvements to the performance of their organisations; partnering with clients to tackle their most difficult issues and serious challenges. Just a few of his active and current clients include; Australian Legal Practice Management Association, CPA Australia and Commonwealth Bank.

Ric Willmot's intent is not just to improve your business, but to build firms which create wisdom and wealth. Ric's background is accounting, financial planning, and organisational psychology. Ric's Private Clients Mentoring Program was created in 2005 and has already had over 200 executives from 12 countries graduate through the 6-month program. Late 2010, Ric's Forums was launched. An international online business forum where people from around the world can come together 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to discuss strategy, leadership, marketing, technology, best practices, ethics and anything else which presents itself. Within one month, over 100 professionals from 13 countries had bought lifetime membership.

Ric is interviewed and quoted frequently in the media; he writes regular business columns for 4 Australian magazines, 3 Asian magazines and is the feature writer for Svoy Business: Russia's leading corporate magazine with a readership in excess of 55,000.

Contact Details

Ric Willmot - Executive Wisdom  Phone: +61 7 3395 1050
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