Could Donald Trump ever become President?
The idea is a scary one based on what appears to be his personal brand of politics (or is it all an act? I can’t tell).
The perception of Donald Trump is someone who gets what he wants. Someone who will bully and intimidate to reach his end goal. Ultimately a person who will do what ever is needed to win.
In all walks of life you will meet people who have similar characteristics.
It can be intimidating to deal with this type of person and often the intimidation gives them a free ticket. No one challenges their behaviour or actions.
How do you deal with a Trump when they rear their ugly head?
I want to share with you my top eight tips for dealing with a Trump.
Sign of the Times
If you visit this site you will see many petitions, all with varying topics.
I have chosen three of the most popular. The petitions typically demand something be banned.
Donald Trump – block entry to the UK (558, 895 signatures)
UK Borders – Zero immigration until ISIS is defeated (453, 625 signatures)
Military Action – No action in Syria in response to the Paris attacks (226,332 signatures)
The British Government need 10,000 signatures before it will respond.
If 100,000 signatures are collected it may debate the issue in Parliament.
As social media has grown, we feel we have a stronger voice – one that will be listened to.
Undoubtedly this has many benefits. You can gain support from people you have never met. They will spread your idea and others will like it. In a short space of time you have traction.
I sigh when I see this medium used negatively to assert an opinion that anything should be banned.
Take Donald Trump for example.
For anyone casting a cursory glance over the news, he has been hard to miss over the last few weeks (Nov/Dec 15).
He has led with several controversial statements and speeches. Many of which are designed to disturb and unsettle the American public.
Over half a million people in the UK have signed a petition, against Trump. They have asked for a ban on Trump entering the UK.
Other popular petitions include a ban on all immigration until ISIS are defeated. It also shows a ban on any military action post the Paris attacks. Presumably the same people did not sign both petitions..
The desire to ban something or someone is based on an emotional response – often fear.
When our gut instinct is to ban something, we have to be careful about the environment we are creating.
Eventually something you feel passionate about could be banned.
Dealing with a Trump
In our working lives we can’t enforce a ban. We have to find a way to work with people. This even applies to people that may show the same characteristics as Donald Trump. How can you deal with this?
1) Ignore it
If you passionately disagree with something, you have a choice – don’t listen. Sometimes we become so offended and upset we want to instantly fight back. Often the most simple form of attack is to switch the volume off.
2) Allow it
In the example of Trump there are people who will be persuaded by his rhetoric. If you believe a statement is so ridiculous they border on parody allow them to keep talking. A small group may support the idea but the general population will see it for what it is. In most cases they will laugh and dismiss it (I have updated this article after the election with a heavy heart. I did think about taking this out but the point still stands!).
3) Unpick the argument not the person
It is easy to exaggerate what is being said or to exaggerate the personality of the person in question. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the person, focus on the argument.
- What are they saying?
- What is their point of view?
- What impact will this have?
- What are the alternatives?
In focusing on the the argument the risk of becoming distracted and missing the point is reduced.
4) Understand the motive
You may not agree with what is being said, but understanding their motive is important. If you understand what they are trying to achieve (or the fear that could be driving them) it reinforces the third point and makes point five more effective.
5) Offer a counter
You disagree, which is great – conflict can be a positive emotion.
If you disagree, be ready to counter and explain why their belief or statement is flawed.
6) It is not about winning
Your counter is not a right hook to floor your opponent.
Remove any idea you have about winning or losing the discussion.
If your motive is ‘to win’ you will keep hammering home the same points and the impact will be lost.
7) Opinion Vs Fact
Remember, opinion and fact are often confused as one and the same.
If facts are offered then check them out, or ask them to provide proof. (I sigh again as I read this back). If you offer a counter you are being held to the same standard – be factual.
8) Accept you will both disagree
Debate means you open the issue up and analyse it, deconstruct it and tear it apart. You may find common ground, you may find yourself even further away. Either outcome can help shape a new view or cement your original thoughts and feelings.
Banning anything will not get rid of the issue.
It may change the way we deal with it legally, it may push the issue underground or new and more complex issues come about as a result. The reality is the issue will still exist.
Voice your opinion, state your case (factually) and explain why you disagree.
Fuel the fire and light the passions – make sure people know how you feel.
Just remember, they may not always agree with you.
That has to feel better than filling out a petition, right?
Believe and take action.