You want to win or win the debate? — why “winning the debate” might also matter?

You might also know the famous phrase: unsuccessful people aim to win the debate while success people aim to win.

It is a great reminder that we should focus on the end goal and avoid wasting too much energy on distractions.

It is also a great reminder that we should sometimes avoid heated debate that does not matter that much but damages relationship, so that we do not create unnecessary obstacles in our path to “win”.

The reminders are important because what they remind us not to do is exactly what our instincts drive us to do.

Focusing too much on “winning the debate” can hurt our chances to “win” in those cases.

However, it is important not to put them against each other: “losing the debate” or “avoid the debate” is not necessary to “win”.

On the contrary, “wining the debate” is typically important to “win”.

1. Cognitive coordination

To “win”, Cognitive coordination is important.

It is human nature to feel bad and struggling to do something against our belief.

And everyone wants to feel good.

“Winning the debate” is a great way to achieve cognitive coordination, and therefore, we feel good, motivated and energized to push forward our agenda.

2. Executive presence

“Winning the debate” shows we care about what we do and that is why we invest efforts in the debate.

The attitude of “care” automatically increases our executive presence.

And chances are that something good will come out of the debate.

3. People Influence

The fact of “winning the debate” will win over people who care less because that shows power.

The passion and capabilities we show in the process of “winning the debate” will win over people who share the same passion and have similar mindset.

Consequently, we have more resources to advance our course.

Therefore, “wining the debate” is, more often than not, important to “win”.


Some statements are so well said that we are convinced at the first sight.

However, it is important to think one level deeper to explore the right circumstances they should be applied to.

About “Winning” and “Winning the debate”, it is really about focusing on our priorities.

If our priority is to “win”, fight hard and “win the debate” if it helps us to “win”. Otherwise, give up “winning the debate” and re-direct our attention to other activities that can.

The statement really warns us against “winning the debate” for the sake of “winning the debate”. And it is so convincing simply because we tend to fall into that trap so often, no matter which life stage we are in.

However, it would be total misunderstanding and stupid to completely avoid “winning the debate” in order to increase the chances to “win”.



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