May 19, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Advocacy and inquiry
Advocacy is to voice your viewpoint.
Inquiry is to ask questions.
Pure advocacy is when you want to win your argument instead of finding the best argument. When someone disagrees, we would stand stronger and advocate our view harder.
Pure inquiry is when you ask questions but never give any argument.
Both attitudes miss the point. The point is not to question everything or to win your argument. But the goal of the debate is to find the best argument in the room and move forward.
During the discussion, you need to balance advocacy and inquiry. Here are a few things you can practice:
- Make your reasoning explicit - Here’s the “data” and how I arrive at my rationale.
- Encourage others to explore your view - Do you see a gap?
- Encourage others to provide a different view - Do you have a different view?
- Inquire about their view - How did you arrive at that view?
Our goal is not to win our argument. Our goal is to move forward with the best argument in the room.