Sunday, January 29, 2012

Be opinionated

Have you noticed lately that more folks offer a gentle opinion over taking a position?

In some instances, that's a great way to open a conversation if we think the other person may be reluctant to discuss a topic (so we don't force them to start out on a limb). "I believe we should give every child in every North American school a hot breakfast!" might be something for which folks would prefer to prepare before answering that open challenge. "Breakfasts for school kids might be a place to put our efforts," would be a softer opening.

Perhaps it's an incredibly delicate topic and requires all parties to first approach from the softer edges so folks can find a common ground before moving on to decisions. "All rapists should be castrated!" might not open the debate in the way you hope or expect.

More often though, we soften positions even on simple things. Have you tried planning a breakfast or a movie with friends lately? Everyone being so accommodating that no decisions are reached? "I'm ok as long as the place offers eggs." Really? So if someone picks the Mexican greasy spoon that you secretly hate, it'll be ok?

Check out this youtube video on how even our verbal approaches have default exit strategies built in. How long has it been since you heard someone say "I believe that..." or instead of "I think that..."  It is not the same thing.

I'm all for collaborative approaches but maybe taking a position might help us dig deeper into what's important or, at very least, remind ourselves where we personally stand? Being controversial isn't always bad.

No comments: