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I'd like to ask you all: have you ever had a conversation where you had a position, and the other person had a position, and you came out with your position changed?
Still more conversations where I've been eventually met in the middle, or found a way to agree to disagree. Most conversations still don't end up like that. And I'm not doing nearly as much of the adversarial style of debating that I did, as I found it increasingly a waste of time.
No such things as completely fresh minds, though, with all due respect ;-)
But rhetoric is often about playing to the audience as there are a lot of people (not on this blog, I think, but in general there are) whose opinions are impervious to informal logic. Mr. Klaus was a fun example where I think that worked out, personally.
But that's marketing communications...
As I have noted before, I am fascinated by a First Nation notion of debate in which 12 elders sat in a circle. Depending upon their position in the 'compass', they had to argue from the point of view of their position in the compass, not from their own view. Also one could only talk when in possession of the 'talking stick' which was passed around. These positions represented different polar aspects of tribal life and decision-making. For example, the person at North position would argue from the tribal view, opposite would be a person who would argue from a view from outside the tribe etc.
I've never tried it, and I assume that it wouldn't work in our culture, because most people wouldn't be able to get their heads around the idea of arguing another point of view. And it is not the same as playing Devil's Advocate.
You can't be me, I'm taken
School, university debaters, lawyers, people in most forms of advertising/marketing ? :-)
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
Our w*estern culture - for want of a better description - has not used such a multidimensional fixed position structure of equals in formal decision-making, as far as I know. Naturally that lack of use does not mean that such a structure be forever incapable of being tested or adopted. It just hasn't been yet.
Thus my doubts that it could work in our culture, where decision-making has been practiced in various adversarial forms for several millennia. It's a different mindset, like the difference between an axonometric or perspective proscenium view.
You can't be me, I'm taken
Opposed to "rule of thumb."
Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
To take more recent and similar activities I have participated in role-playing exercises where the goal was to better understand a situation through assigning different positions. In some ways that resembled the compass.
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I think it would be very interesting to try the compass method in a workshop. I'm happy to hear of your experiences, because we need more of this imo. Empathy is a casualty of capitalism - any method for experiencing and understanding empathy is useful and evolutionary.
My own baseline for consulting on communications with different companies always, as far as possible, stands on their particular audience. There are always perceptual people at the other side of the dialogue, and empathy is a very important method of communicating with them - if it is genuine.
You can't be me, I'm taken
I actually remember ending conversations quite embarrassed.
But not anymore. When I engage conversation I now know that I am not the owner of the truth. Many times I engage conversation precisely to have ideas challenged.
And I think I am far from being alone (although in my personal case I am very conscious about the process).
The idea of having an argument to win should be challenged. Although sometimes there is a need to enter to win, most times it could be seen as a way for mutual progress: One discusses to exchange viewpoints with the other and maybe (or maybe not) change a little bit our own view of the world (or at least be aware of weaknesses in our own reasoning that need to be addressed)...
very interesting discussion, ta, rg for getting this snowball rolling!
'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
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