Lets imagine you are in a debate with a colleague over who is the best NBA player of all time. You say it is Michael Jordan and he is says LeBron James. The debate becomes heated and unfriendly. Other colleagues are standing around instigating while giggling. Your professionalism is quickly going out the window because you are so set on winning the argument. What is gained if you win the argument? How does this help your career? If you lose the argument, you could lose respect from your colleagues. How did you end up in this situation to begin with? There are so many questions that come to mind when thinking about a situation such as this.
So, lets take a step back and go to the beginning to when the topic of who is the best NBA player of all time comes up between you and your colleague. You confidently state Michael Jordan and he disagrees by saying LeBron James. This is your opportunity to quickly evaluate the situation and the type of person your colleague is. Will he be able to have a professional conversation without becoming upset? It might be best to admit you do not agree and move onto a different conversation. This would avoid the battle in the office, which makes the two of you look like fools.
We are human and have emotions, so it is easy to get upset, even if the argument is over something silly. If the argument does matter, then go in with real facts. As mentioned in C.A. strategy exploration, gather information/data to better prepare ourselves for the future. The more data you have supporting your argument, the better chance of influencing someone who disagrees with your perspective. It is also important to communicate the supporting data clearly without bias. It must be shared in such a way where all negative emotions are set aside.
I would classify an attitude under negative emotions, which it rarely helps your case. Positive emotions are useful in showing your passion for your case, but should not be excessive. There are times and places where you should participate in a debate or argument, but it is never a good idea to do so around the water cooler with colleagues. You never know who will walk by and catch only part of the story. If you are looking for more respect, winning an argument may actually do the opposite depending on how it was carried out. The person you are arguing will certainly not respect you more for making them look bad. Just a few things to think about when you find yourself in a position to argue someone.