Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Law 9: “Win through your actions, never through argument.”

Basically, the main point of law number 9 is that in proving a point, it is always better to convince your audience (especially if that someone is in a higher position than you) by demonstrating your idea, rather than arguing or trying to sway them with words.

According to the book, words can be weak and troublesome; “words are never neutral…” and we can never be sure just how our words, regardless of how wisely chosen, are going to come across to the person we’re conversing with.

It doesn’t matter if you’re right or not. Most of the time, especially when arguing, people can be stubborn, and we ALL think that we’re right. The harder you argue, the more you offend the person and their intellect, and the harder they resist.

However, if you chose to demonstrate your ideas instead, the easier they’ll accept you and your point, because how can anybody argue with “demonstrated proof?” They will able to see what you mean, right in front of them, and they won’t be able to contest you. It takes a little bit more than tact to pull this off, but when you do fine the right move, you’ll be able to communicate your point most effectively. It’s a win-win situation: “…no one is offended, and your point is proven.”

To finish off, an example from the book: Soderini was Florence’s mayor, and he had commissioned Michaelangelo to make a sculpture. At one point, Soderini commented that he thought the nose was “too big.” But Michaelangelo knew that Soderini was just seeing the statue from the wrong perspective, and he didn’t want to ruin the statue or offend Soderini. So, he asked Soderini to stand beside him (to get a proper perspective) while he PRETENDED to fix the figure’s nose. Once Soderini saw the “finished product,” he said it was perfect. Here, Michaelangelo found an indirect way of proving his point. He “saved” the statue, while still making Soderini think that he had agreed with his critique.

Do you agree with what this law states? Is it always better to demonstrate rather than argue, or can you cite some instances where a well-thought-out argument can get the same result?

-Jessica Amanda Bauza


Jedd Emille Chua said...

I agree. As it is said, "Actions speak louder than words." People are stubborn and is only convinced what they can see for themselves. Like the atheists, for instance, they only believe in what they call "Scientific method", which is through actions, not from words.

-Jedd Chua, Hi 18-O

Anonymous said...

I agree. Words/Arguments are just used to scare off/warn people, to discourage them from doing any action. Great leaders don't win a war because they won thru debating with the other party, they win it because they think and do wise actions.

-Miguel Rojas Hi18O

Pauline Purugganan said...

Actions definitely speak louder than words. Let's not go too far anymore in defending this. Take a look at our present situation. A lot of Filipinos agree that our current president should step down. But then again, just a meager fraction of these people actually go rallying out there in the streets. This is a perfect example of how words don't actually go that far.

- Pauline Purugganan, Hi 18-N

Dexter Tanengsy said...

eloquence with words is admirable but people who can embody words through action are simply God-sent.

you may be quoted for your catchy phrases, loved for your depth of vocabulary but at the end of the day, people won't remember you for what you've said but for what you've done.

With these in mind, it's obviously more effective to manipulate people through flashing your abilities, glimpses of your greatness, than a mirage of prophetic words.

-Dexter Tanengsy, HI 18-N

Lexx Aquino said...

We all know that things are "easier said than done". A person would garner more respect if his efforts and actions are seen. People always demand for proof because "to see is to believe". Therefore, in order for them to believe in you, you must show them what you are capable of.

But in my opinion, action is not enough. A person must also be persuasive. A good mix of brains and brawn is essential. The most successful leaders in our history didn't win the people just through their actions, they also spent a lot of energy persuading people and justifying what they did/are doing/will do.

Lexx Aquino

Marcy Pilar said...
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janine cindy santiago said...
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janine cindy santiago said...
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janine cindy santiago said...

The notion that “Action speaks louder than words…” does not always apply to every one, because each one of us is a totally different person to one another. Each one of us has our own reactions to different situations. It is true that actions speak better than words, but they should go hand-in-hand. Talk the talk. But also walk the walk. Unlike those who just do “lip service” and promise here and there, those leaders that truly succeed are those who do what they promised to the people.

Janine Cindy M. Santiago

dyanster said...

I agree. But I don't think that the power of a convincing speech or a well-executed argument should be ignored entirely. Words can help a person prove their point, to some extent. It is, after all, what usually catches the attention of most people in the beginning. As time goes by, though, such words become irrelevant when there are no follow-up actions. If you really want to make a difference, you have to show others that you're living out your point and not just preaching empty words.

Dyan Garcia, II AB MEC, Hi18 0

bmgbes said...

I agree. Many words require action to give meaning to them. Though words may be powerful, actions somehow get one a step further depending on how the action was delivered.

Arguments usually don't get one anywhere. They tend to make the situation worse instead of trying to reach a compromise. Actions on the other hand work on reaching this compromise with the hopeful outcome of a win-win situation.

-Bianca Michaela Bes, Hi 18-O

Marcy Leonora V. Pilar said...

I agree with the law in saying that actions are definitely more persuasive than words. However, one must not abandon the power in using words. Of course, demonstrations and actions are vital to history since in order for ideas (in the form of thoughts/words) to become actualized, these must be put to action first; or, in order for an event to become historical, it must occur and not just dwell in the realm of thinking.
But an event's being historical doesn't end there- the event has to be recorded, and this entails the use of words. With words, historical events are passed on from generation to generation and are celebrated/commemorated even thousands of years after it has occured.
So yes, actions do speak louder than words, but actions must be supported/ backed up by words.

Marcy Leonora Pilar

Kamille Mercado said...

I find it hard to take in the idea since there aren't many instances when one could demonstrate one's point. It is something that involves a lot of thought when finding the right move as you said, and definitely needs to be practiced to get good at. Yet, I totally agree that when one does find the time and apt way of presenting one's point, there really is no better proof than actual results.

--Kamille Mercado Hi18 N

Alexius John Tejedor said...

It may be true in some cases, but very questionable in some. Leaders who use violence to win wars aren't exactly great. I believe that when arguments are won by action *i.e, fighting* then both parties failed to win at all. I believe that resorting to action is a compromise of the real solution. Wars are a perfect example of this.

Alexius John Tejedor

joanne atienza said...

Lexx, I think you are right. I believe words and action go hand in hand. Yes, these two are distinct in their points of significance. However, I think they share a mutual and proportional nature of relationship. An action cannot exist without arguments and an argument could not exist completely without an action to prove it.

Thus, i think winning through actions is not enough. You could win through stating your point, too. :)

THINK OF THIS: we are commenting/arguing about this matter (LAW 9). We are definitely stating our side here through WORDS and not through visible actions, RIGHT? :)

: Joanne Atienza N

luigiramirez said...

Yes, i agree. To prove a point, actions speak louder than words. Words mean different things, its hard to convince someone with words.
Its easier to accept the actions, you are able to see it. The battle is won on the battlefield by action.

-Luigi Ramirez Hi18-O

mike orlino said...
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mike orlino said...

just a thought:

i think this law should be made known by our respected politician today. i just noticed that some politicians were just arguing about so many things that they forgot that their first task is to serve the people, to make actions, not just arguing with each other. i think they will be better leaders through their act, not just through words...

mike orlino
hi 18 O

Nico Mendiola said...

i agree that actions do speak louder than words, but im not quite sure why people who are commenting underestimate the power of words. the very things that influence us in this world are basically just words: books, songs, etc. give one moving and powerful speech and people would be willing to trust their taxes with you. how on earth are women fooled into loving a man if the bolero's out there didnt have their arsenal of cheezy woos of commitment.
again, like in all of these laws, it should be a matter of balance. words CAN and WILL get you somewhere, but usually, you'll need a concrete finisher to get what you want.

nico mendiola O

Jamie Bauza said...

i agree with what mike said: nowadays most politicians just keep on promising and promising, but they hardly ever come through. Instead of just broadcasting what they're planning on doing, they should just do it already, and let their actions speak for themselves.

Eric said...

I agree with all of you. Words and actions are BOTH valuable, to a certain extent. It really depends on the situation at hand. There are times when expressing yourself is more important than acting out what you want to say. There are times when effective communication is absolutely necessary to get through to someone. Take events in our own country's history. Rizal used his own pen as a sword to fight, while other revolutionaries waged war.

There are also times when actions are necessary; when words are not enough to express your thoughts. Being concrete and explaining things in a very tangible way helps clarify what you mean to say.

I guess it's still your choice when to use the power of speech and when to use the power of action.

Eric Andres
HI 18 Section N

mariel said...
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mariel said...

I don't believe that "never" is an appropriate word to use in this statement. Although demonstration does provide a solid argument, it does not always guarantee a win when it comes to arguments. We should not underestimate the power of speech. A rational, well-thought-out point of view is crucial in winning an argument. Not only does it entail actual reasoning, but, it is also able to communicate the point and appeal to the other party’s emotion. Think Aristotle’s Three Forms of Rhetoric: logos, or logic, pathos, or appeal on emotion, and ethos, appeal on character. With mere action, none of this is accomplished.
Think politicians. Speeches have seemed to work for them, haven’t they? We, as Filipinos, tend to find more credibility in what they have to say than what they do. Just like how GMA’s State-of-the-nation-address has so much influence on the way she is viewed as a leader. People will respect you for what you have to say, and not just by what you do, just as more people are remembered for the things they have said. (US presidents, for example, have been remembered for their great speeches).

. The bottom line is, some things are much better said than done.

…Think about it. We are using speech right now to prove our own points-of-view.
So far, words pretty much get the job done.

Marian Janelle Aliwalas
HI 18 N

alex salaveria said...

It is true that there's a little chance that you can offend the person your talking to when you try to demonstrate your point instead of forcing your point by arguments. I agree with the previous posts, that actions do speak louder than words. It is easier for someone to understand you when you show them something instead of you continuously blabbering about your idea. It will be be hard for them to contradict you if you have proof. Examples could be visual presentations like charts, graphs, statictics, pictrures and videos.

Alex Salaveria
HI18 - N

dueyselphy said...

Although words may seem to be strong, I agree to this as we should "walk the talk". That is, we should put into actions what we speak.

And come to think of it, I couldn't think of any great leader in history who have won through argumentation with the enemy. In their victories, an evidence of arms and bullets play an important role towards every win.

And speaking of a modern evidence with this is our current political situation. Like ok we are known to make two presidents step down with people power, and yet our political system is problematic because all we say is that our president is bad, corrupt, inconsiderate, etc. without putting in consideration ways on how we can fix our problematic government system.

Duey T. Guison

Dan Vitan said...

I think using either words or actions both have their own advantages and disadvantages. However I do believe that actions definitely speak louder since “seeing is believing”; you’re eyes can’t deceive what you’re seeing. Nonetheless, there is still a chance that your actions might fail in proving your point and if ever this happens, you end up humiliating yourself and have a very little chance of redeeming yourself; people won’t be as forgiving the second time around. On the other hand, words can still be powerful since words can still lead to actions just as Jose Rizal’s novels led the Filipinos to revolt against the Spaniards. But then again you can’t control someone’s interpretation of your words.
In the end it all comes down to a matter of choice. If you think you’re better in proving your point with words than actions, then go with words and vice versa.
-Dan Vitan HI 18-N

Marvin Velasco said...

Nothing beats solid proof. That's what this law is trying to state. This isn't to say however that words are useless. Take a coach for a sports team for example. It's through his or her words that the players are able to execute on the field. The coach would give motivational speeches before a game to hype up the players and get them into the right spirit. In this case, the words and actions actually play hand-in-hand with one another, forming unified minds and bodies.

It doesn't always have to be a choice between one or the other. You can do both.

Marvin Velasco
Hi18 N

kirag. said...

Wow! I really like this law. What it says is definitely true.

It’s true that action is louder than words.

This law is so evident in the lives of real Christians in the past and now.
Real Christians say that they love God, and that they show it through doing what is right and pleasing in God’s eyes, even if it means persecution from other people. That is why throughout history, Christians all around the world has been persecuted because of the name of Christ.

Their love and trust for God, and their conviction seen in their actions and lifestyle are the things that attract other people to them, and especially in Whom they believe in. Even though they were persecuted they strived to obey and trust God. Their actions have proven the world that God, His love, power and capability to change and transform lives into what God wants them to have are real and that He can truly help humans to overcome human’s sinful nature.

In history, action have definitely backed-up what Christians believed, consequently convincing a lot of unbelievers of the Truth and Life that can be found in a relationship with God. :D

God was and still is evident and could be seen in their lifestyles.
I cannot emphasize it more: Action truly speaks louder than words. :D

Kira Gochuico
HI 18 N

Please comment on:
LAW 17

kirag. said...

Looking at true love in relation to this law shows us that this law holds a true and strong point in life.

If you truly love a person, don’t tell it, just show it. For example, how should children or kids show that they love their parents? Simple, we obey them. Obedience is love in action; obeying our parents is the way we say we love them.

True love is truly seen through action, not just through words. :D

Kira Gochuico
HI 18 N

patricia said...

Some people merely have more bark than bite. They aim to intimidate and awe with highfalutin words and convince and persuade with flowery speech. While this in itself may be considered a great and useful skill, I agree with this law and everyone else that action is more effective in achieving your desired effect.

Instead of wasting time trying to think up of words and actually deliver them in hopes of convincing other, why not just get down to business and prove yourself through your achievements? Less hassle, and you actually get to start being productive.

As what Lexx had mentioned, some things are easier said than done. Technically you don't gain anything of value when you utter the words. It is when you follow through with actions that anything has real meaning. Kind of like in accounting. In merely ordering something, in just saying you want a purchase, no transaction has happened. It is only when you actually had in the money that it takes place.

Patty Geollegue

princess joan said...

Whatever is action speaks louder than words if this law does not apply. True, it is always best to be a worker rather than a mere speaker. A good leader impresses his people by his actions not just his words. But we should never forget that sometimes, words also play a great role. Politicians for instance, know how to play with words that's why they can deceive people, but more than that, concrete actions will make them better leaders, and will create lasting followers.

Joan Medalla
Hi18 N

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