Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stuck in the Middle

Paco lead us on a great conversation this morning about the importance of committing to a position - rather than remaining "stuck in the middle". He gave us the example of one of his teachers who was neither nice nor disciplined and as a result couldn't get the students to do what she wanted them to. He elaborated: "if she was truly disciplined, we would behave properly because we had to. If she was really nice, we would behave properly because we liked her. But as it stands, she neither forces us to behave nor is nice enough to motivate us to do it".

Paco gave us another example from soccer: as a defender, there are two ways you could cover an offensive player - I wont get into the details as I will probably get them wrong. The bottom line is that you should alternate between both approaches, but at any given time be committed to a single one. If you try combine both approaches and do a bit of one and a bit of the other at the same time, you do neither well.

Alejandro chimed in with another example: a group of friends wants to go see a movie. Half wants to see a horror film, the other half a comedy. The right approach would be to alternate: go see a horror film one day and a comedy another day. The "stuck in the middle" approach: go see a drama which nobody particularly wants to see but nobody opposes either. We encourage Ale, Paco & Nico to take the same approach: if they can't agree on what to do together simply take turns deciding.

I see this problem with some politicians: instead of being "balanced" by supporting some issues on the "Right" and some issues on the "Left" - based on their beliefs and principles - they try to be balanced by developing positions that are neither Right nor Left and are often meaningless.

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