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Building Better Ideas by B. Kim Barnes

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8 Challenging Positions

The ability to challenge someone’s position without initiating interpersonal conflict is an art rather than a science. A neutral tone of voice and the communication of positive intention can nullify what might otherwise be taken as a personal attack. It’s difficult, but essential, if you want to stop mediocre ideas from moving forward, to find a way to legitimize a focus on identifying and improving the weaker elements of an idea before it becomes the default solution. See Figure 5 for key concepts explored in this chapter.

Identify Assumptions

Unconscious assumptions are the enemy of critical thinking and constructive debate. If you’re not aware of how you’re limiting your thinking, you can’t move beyond those limitations. ...

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