Be like Ben

 Here’s a radio-minute that aired nationally this week on Q Place’s Walk the Way:

This is Walk the Way, brought to you by Q Place, I’m Jeff Klein.

A friend of mine recently informed me that Benjamin Franklin was known for his rather brilliant way of handling dicey discussions.

Franklin made a habit of not disagreeing with people–even if he didn’t see eye-to-eye with them–right off the bat. Listen to Franklin’s own words:

When another asserted something that I thought an error, I denied myself the pleasure of contradicting him abruptly, and of showing him immediately some absurdity in his proposition…. I soon found the advantage of this change in my manner; the conversations I engaged in went on more pleasantly. The modest way in which I proposed my opinions procured them a readier reception and less contradiction…

My friend reminded me that it is certainly tempting to let emotions flare if someone attacks your beliefs.

But to be a good witness, it’s better to be like Ben.

Don’t lead with a contradiction, affirm what you can, and then consider how to gently introduce your thoughts.

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