quote-Robert-Quillen-discussion-is-an-exchange-of-knowledge-an-29277

Which one is better a discussion or an argument?

Let’s compare both and find out for ourselves.

discussion at work-openanswer

A discussion is a communication style of which the outcome is not predefined, while having “mutual understanding” as a pre-determined final goal before entering into it. A discussion is supposed to lead to the best solution of a given problem, a clarification of a misunderstanding or the best valuation of an idea, to mention some random examples.

Such “understanding” is to be reached & accepted by all engaged parties at the end of a discussion, based on healthy communication, proper exchange of ideas, information or opinions and genuine agreement (as opposed to artificial one for the sake of muting “high volumes”). It’s a collective, non-selfish & constructive process by nature (even if no outcome is reached yet).

Quote Michael P. Watson

An argument, on the other hand, is characterised by the “will to win” clearly visible through the show of interruptive emotions. An argument is less effective than a discussion in most cases but can be necessary depending on the counterpart’s openness to having a calm discussion. Having an argument is mostly the result of us being unable to suppress whatever emotion that we have at a given moment of discussing a topic, whether anger, impatience, anxiety, disappointment or sadness etc.

Paradoxically enough, having an argument at such times can be a healthy release of pent-up negativity; one that needs to be out of the way, first, for a calm discussion to take place.

work-argument-openanswer

I find arguments to be generally ineffective & counter-productive than discussions because their goal is either:

  1. Predefined: when we argue for the sake of arguing (releasing negative energy because we WANT to), OR
  2. Non-defined at all, when we argue because that’s all we can do now (releasing negative energy because we CAN’T discuss calmly)

Quote by Joseph Joubert

Therefore, enforcing an arguing style of communication is a counter-productive, selfish & unfair form of communication aimed at convincing the other party of one’s points of views, legitimizing the use of irrational communication (shouts, fictitious outrage, refusal of agreement, interruptions, unmeant disagreements, lack of self-reflection, manipulation of facts etc.).

An argument is at its best when it means “a reason given in proof or rebuttal”, only as part of a debate or a discussion and not as a way of communication.

Poet Sarah Kay

Spoken poetry: If I should have a daughter …

If I should have a daughter…

If I should have a daughter, I would have her listen to this

I would tell her she would never have to fall into the abyss,

That she is loved & worthy, regardless of others might say,

That she’s as cute, smart, funny & beautiful, as is Sarah Kay

And that she can be a more talented poet herself, one day.

So, when she thinks that her life is devoid from a true role-model,

And that the world is beating her down in a harsh & endless struggle,

That she doesn’t know any more who to love, hate, hug, or strangle,

That she could create one in her own fantastic imagination,

A lady freed from cultural dogmas & superficial fascination,

A fairy-tail young lady, more perfect than her life can present,

Confidently happy & content, yet as imperfect as reality can get.


Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …

Leadership

Leadership is not about titles and positions but about influencing others. Do you agree?

I disagree on this one.

If leadership is only measured by our random influence on the lives of others, then we may as well all be leaders in a general sense, since we always influence other lives to some degree, through our social being.

Leaders

In my opinion, leadership in general, whether good or bad (to stay within the generic question wording) is mainly concerned with the power to persuade others to follow what you do, say or believe in. There were always good and bad leaders, who shared the “leader” label, and who led others through a combination of charisma, eloquence, identification, power, inspiration, love, hate, fear and/or deception.

The good ones lead others to goodness.

knowitall

When do you know when to shut up, and when to speak?

quote-knowledge-of-the-self-is-the-mother-of-all-knowledge-so-it-is-incumbent-on-me-to-know-my-self-to-khalil-gibran-70767

Knowledge is knowing what to say, without necessarily saying it all the time. People by nature have an almost automatic aversion towards “know-it-all types”, even if they indeed know it all, most of it or mostly. Even if they “know it all” compared to the ones who think of them as “know-it-alls”. It is just how we are as people.

We don’t like to entertain the idea that people whom we perceive as our “equals in everything”, may suddenly not be so equal in something like “knowledge”, but actually higher than us. That’s why we are more susceptible to accepting the same piece of information (with a nod and a smile) shared by a professor, who’s clearly a PhD. holder, than from a colleague of the same age and education who read more books about the topic, including the professor’s own book on the topic, with only a Bachelor’s degree and an insatiable thirst for knowledge!

Sometimes the reason behind this “aversion”, is that the stereotypical “know-it-all” persons, indeed, tend to be smug & condescending towards others who know less, can do less or who are less extrovert with what they know.  Know-it-alls often have a total lack of the kind of social skills and empathy needed to pay attention to such a fact or to make such a quick observation of their surroundings, before they address others or share their knowledge.

know-it-alls-among-the-many-things-they-dont-know-how-much-o-demotivational-posters-1370370005

Other times, the reason has mainly to do with the recipients of knowledge themselves. Such knowledge can be shared by someone who simply happens to know more, but it is often unnecessarily and unconsciously viewed by the counter-part as “threatening” to their own self-image or own standing (in a group). Such people are mostly insecure or less confident than others, but have a habit of channelling such insecurities the wrong way. There are many people who tackle their low confidence problem by welcoming knowledge from more knowledgeable people without the intervention of things such as “ego” or “comparison to themselves”, thereby turning a “vice” to their own hands by making it rather a virtue.

One can also say that if knowledge is factual, applicable and/or useful to the audience or to the discussion at stake, then it should be shared regardless of how it is received and perceived. But hey, there is a reason why people prefer watching certain types of TV programs; some may reject the idea of liking movies, soaps and entertainment shows and others may make jokes of those who watch discovery channel and national geographic as being “boring” or “not so cool”. A difference is there, and plenty of choices are there to make. And it is okay.

When to shut up

Mastering manners of sharing knowledge and knowing how to channel it responsibly and effectively is a sort of wisdom not everybody has. It is mostly related to age but more often to life experience, social skills and character.

It’s a waste of time, for instance, to share your knowledge of the solar system with those who are still “agnostic” as to whether “the earth is flat” or a “rounded globe”. (not such an extreme example, if you realize there may be people on our global earth, who still pick their brains around this fact)

And it’s also a waste of time to explain the importance of choosing the right accounting software for company operations, to a group of accountants who want to start their own accounting company, during a start-ups seminar, only because it’s part of your one-fits-all proven seminar-script as a coach or a speaker, that has always proven successful with previous seminar attendees.

Wisdom is knowing when, what, how and to whom you should say certain things and when not to.

SONG-OF-THE-DAY

What is your song of the day?

Avicii – Hey Brother

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, know the water’s sweet but blood is thicker.
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Hey brother, do you still believe in one another?
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

Hey brother, there’s an endless road to re-discover.
Hey sister, do you still believe in love, I wonder?
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

What if I’m far from home?
Oh, brother I will hear you call.
What if I lose it all?
Oh, sister I will help you out!
Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you,
There’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.

 

Dedicated to RASH-HIM-MUT-MER.
famous-leadership-quotes-376

“Leadership is a position of servitude”. Do you agree?

I agree & I disagree.

I agree to a certain extent, from a personally preferred view, hoping it may one day become a true widely-spread belief that leadership is a position of servitude. This is, regardless of the distinct connotation the middle-age English word “servitude” has, relating to enslavement, slavery or lack of freedom.

Servitude

If approached philosophically, whether leadership is a position of “servitude” or “service” should not really matter, if the pursuit of such position is driven by genuine passion for driving prosperity, spreading wellness and caring for the followers in all fairness and equality. These are just words. And men, great men and great leaders are judged by their deeds, not by their words no matter eloquent. A true leaders rolls up his sleaves and guides his followers from the front, if not literally then figuratively.

LeaderQuote

We all know that leaders are not exactly “enslaved” or limited in their powers or freedoms through power possession, as power is not supposed to enslave, or is it? If anything, power, we are told, has the tendency of corrupting its possessor and that absolute power may corrupt absolutely. Could this, too, be a form of enslavement?

One can also argue that it rather should matter whether leadership receives the poetic label of “servitude” or not, using the argument that such an elevating description would do leadership good. After all, people tend respond well to emotionally loaded names & adjectives that have a spirit-uplifting resonance to them, especially when such names take them to a dreamy world of abundant wealth, freedom and equality, away from their daily reality of poverty,oppression and injustice (if applicable).

team-leadership-quotes
Many political leaders,  including presidents or prime ministers refer to their post as “Public Service”, not being ashamed of attaching “service” to their position, rather proud. CEO’s of super large multinationals, may choose to refer to themselves as such too, when their position indeed influences the lives of hundred-thousands of people. That’s how it works.

Yet, I’m yet to witness a leader who refers to his or her position as one of “servitude” and attach commendable deeds to the noble words. It’s a matter of semantics; the connotation of which cannot be misinterpreted, not by a dumb politician or a socially-handicapped business leader and certainly not by the receiving audience; “the electorate”, whether citizens or customers. (If you think about it, customers do elect their leaders too)

(Let’s don’t dwell too much in a discussion on the power of Public Relations, here)


But I also disagree, because I generally have a distrustful relationship with (paternalistic) “euphemisms”. They sound temptingly nice but may be very deceptive in nature & content. Euphemistic words or descriptions that conceal their right meaning, preying on people’s oblivion of their reality are plenty enough in our world.

what-is-servant-leadership

To move on from “public service” to “public servitude” through “servant leadership” can be a perfect PR-slogan, symbolizing a much higher commitment to serving others almost closer to being “enslaved by the needs & rights of the public”, whether citizens, employers, employees, customers or any type of stake-holders, who put leaders in such a high or leading positions. But is this really true or enforcible? I don’t think so, as it rarely, if ever, happens on a perceivable scale.

“Servitude” is a personal preference. “Service” is closer to reality & realism.

Let “service” be “service”. It’s good enough!