Do you often consider both sides of an argument?

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Whether you like it or not, every coin has two sides. Call them heads and tails, up and down, obverse and reverse – it does not matter. When a coin is tossed, there is a 50-50 chance of getting either. There is no clear winner.

The world is similarly not black and white, we already know that. But when getting into an argument – or (more likely) experiencing one secondhand from social media or newspaper – we often forget this pure truth and lean on one side without giving the other side a chance. At least I do, despite reflecting on this several times in the past. Clearly, more practice is required.

Last week in our team call I was arguing about recent restructurings in our organization and how they could have been better, especially in terms of messaging. One of my colleagues with over a decade of entrepreneurial experience shared his account of restructurings when he was the CEO of his firm and how despite being super-duper careful with evaluation and messaging it was always unpleasant. He added that nobody had ever come back to him saying, “I can totally understand your decision. Thanks for the opportunity to work here anyway.”

With the same colleague, later that week I argued about how open source was both a boon and bane for our company and how it was hurting us more than helping at the moment. And he had a well-considered answer for this too.

Two instances in the same week were enough for me to rethink my position. It also forced me to rethink how I was entering into arguments. Life is like yin and yang – two competing forces keeping things in balance. It’s ultimately about balance.

My biggest takeaway is that it’s good to have an opinion but it’s better if it’s informed by considering both sides of the coin (argument).

I have decided to be more mindful of both sides from now on.

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