Bo Seo at WSJ:

[D]ebate provides a tool kit for disagreeing better. By zooming out from individual disputes to the principles that apply across them, debate can illuminate the physics of everyday disagreements. Debaters learn to isolate the main elements of successful arguments: what is the point, why is it true, when has it happened before, who cares. They learn that arguments are most worth having when disagreements are real, important, specific and contested by two sides whose goals are aligned. They discover how to find the heart of a dispute. Debate imparts a body of knowledge that is more accessible than formal logic and more versatile than negotiation techniques.