Is it a Debate or a Dialectic?
Are you Helping Others to Grow?
In our world today, especially since we can get online and have conversations with strangers throughout the world, we see a lot of people arguing. They argue over the smallest things, the biggest things, and everything in between. Many of them, if approached, will shrug it off and say they were simply debating. But what good has that done?
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal in training leaders is to ensure that they are using their skills in a way that edifies and helps people. But we also know that there are many different viewpoints out there, and just because someone thinks differently doesn’t mean that they are wrong. In other words, instead of a debate, a dialectic occurs. There’s a big difference in the two.
Debate or Dialectic
Understanding the difference can begin by simply looking at the definitions of the two words.
Debate – An argument about a particular subject, especially one in which many people are involved.
Dialectic – The art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions.
The difference between the two is all in the approach and what you seek to get out of the meeting. When you’re debating, your entire goal is to argue with the other person until you have provided more facts and evidence and you are considered to be right; the winner. In a dialectic, on the other hand, the winner is the one who gains the most insight. The goal isn’t to prove the other person wrong, but instead to become more educated on other peoples’ opinions, so that you can accurately shape your own.
Why do we Need Dialectics?
We get pretty rooted in our opinions. Sometimes, those opinions are based on what we have been told since we were little, or they are based on our emotions. Instead, we should be basing them on facts. Engaging in dialectics can help us to discover a bigger world with more opinions and more truths; a debate we only focus on shoving our own opinions onto another person.
But even more importantly, dialectics help us to make better decisions. By understanding the way other people think, we can make more informed choices, and interact with people better. Here’s a very simplified example.
Suppose you want to order dinner for a large group (100 people or so). You think that since you prefer chicken, then other people should as well. You order the chicken, and two-thirds of the people aren’t happy with the choice. It turns out that a third prefer chicken, a third prefer beef, and a third prefer fish. If you had been more open to the opinions of others, you would have been able to see this problem coming.
You can still do something about it. While it’s too late to get different food, you can debate with the group and try to convince them this food is the best food. Or you can engage in a dialectic with them to understand why the majority of the people don’t prefer chicken.
Grow with People
As the world gets more and more populated, there are more and more opinions out there. Rather than try to push a person down in order to validate your opinion, learn from others so that you can understand them better. In the end, we all grow.
Big Sky Collision Center is in the business of growing leaders. We just happen to be good at fixing cars. If you have been in an accident, and you have dents, dings, or scratches you need fixed, give us a call at 406-259-6328 to schedule an appointment.