Losing The Debate, Go Ahead.
“I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.” Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
It’s easy to confuse winning a debate with being right. Winning an argument means you have made a great case and put it across in a compelling manner. It does not mean that your argument is correct or what’s best – think high end defence trial lawyers.
Sometimes I listen to executives, managers and bosses in their board rooms and who they are and how right they are is so loud it’s impossible to hear what they are saying.
Having to win all the time is often a cover job for fragile self belief. It is also completely and utterly demotivating to the people losing the debate time after time. Even if it’s not a fragile ego at source and winning every debate is a result of being super smart, informed and persistent – that is still not a productive reason to deploy blitzkrieg infallibility.
Sincere humility is the masterpiece of the seasoned and wizened leader.
Leaders get credit for doing good things—rarely for ceasing to do flawed / unhelpful things –despite this being an area of the very highest impact.
As a tactic, picking a debate you are going to lose or let go of, may be a significant act of confidence building for your team members.
Some readers might think I’m off beam with the above – well let me tell you just how wrong you are….
Shameless plea follows…!
May I seize this opportunity to pitch for sponsorship for our new local RNLI Lifeboat?
Six members of Exmouth Lifeboat Crew are cycling in full kit from Dawlish to Exmouth to raise money towards Exmouth’s new Shannon lifeboat launch and recovery equipment. You can sponsor me here thanks!