In business, as in life, it helps to be cool.
Let’s be honest, there is little to no value in losing your temper and engaging in an emotional or spiteful exchange. It may feel good, and right, and justified in the moment – but the other person will feel the same. You will never win an argument through insults, threats, or put downs. If you find yourself approaching this slippery slope, take a step back. Literally. Step back from what you are doing – step away from the computer with the angry email you are about to write. Put your phone down before you send the spiteful text message. Step back from the person you are confronting in a meeting. Emotional exchanges and temper tantrums are the domicile of children and those with childish control. You can be the greater person, you can be viewed as the level headed leader, you can be respected as the voice of reason and clarity, but only if you have the self control to pull back when your blood starts to boil and pursue a more level headed response.
The person on the receiving end is almost certainly being a jerk, an asshole, and a complete idiot – but you wont convince them of this, you will only harden their resolve in becoming an even greater asshole. In the long run, and almost everything in business and life is about optimizing for the long run, you will prevail when you are the one who can check their emotional response and outmaneuver your hot headed opponent with cool, calculating precision. They will never see it coming, as they will be blindly focused on the burning issue of contention before their eyes.