The ability to argue productively is definitely a good individual and team skill. More like a set of skills since how one needs to argue depends on the participants, your mood, their moods, your baggage, their baggage...
Thanks Dan -- sounds like an interesting book. This article though isn't about negotiation to win really, more about how to effectively work through problems.
A few years ago, a friend of mine in France entered a competition of sorts to go onto a space station. First part of it was a study where they tried to figure out who could live and work together isolated for extended periods. They looked specifically at siblings with good relationships on the assumption that they'd worked out how to fight years and years earlier and could do so and move on and therefore work well together.
My own belief is that it's people who are able to "fight" effectively and get through arguments and hug it out at the end that make the strongest teams.
"It's not business, it's personal" It's too easy to blame the organization and the system and the bottom line for decisions that a person would never be willing to take responsibility for.Whenever you can, work with people who take it personally.