Spirited Debate on LO LO6587

Wed, 10 Apr 1996 22:35:39 -0400

Replying to LO6577 --

I was intrigued with Hal's comments about spirited debate and would like
to offer some observations. First, debate is different, as we all know,
from dialogue. Debate is trying to convince the other and has a bit of
conflict in it while dialogue is looking at the underlying meaning and
deon in a spirit of inquiry and investigation. Dialogue does not,
however, have to be "soft on logic."

Secondly, I would agree that the energy of conflict creates a different
but also powerful learning opportunity if done with respect. I actually
enjoy spirited debate and I believe I've seen such a beast here on the
learning org list previously.

But thirdly, there was one thing Hal said that disturbed me. He said, "If
a statement made by a person posting here is, in fact, arrogant -
hypothetically - how is it incorrect to tell them? "

It is incorrect, IMHO, to tell them they are arrogant as if it is the
TRUTH! Hal mistakes his ASSESSMENT of arrogance as a fact. It is only
his interpretation. I suggest Hal be rigorous with himself about what is
fact. Perhaps he could instead state his opinion (in a spirited way) but
also own that it is only his opinion and disclose why he says what he says
and show us what his opinion leads us to that is a more powerful
interpretation. This is something I am still learning to do and it
respects that everyone does not see the world the same as me.

Hal, thanks for opening this thread! I look forward to learning more from
you and I admire your willingness to speak up on this. I too, am a "high
challenge" person.

Margaret McIntyre
Atlanta, GA



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