Now discuss

Interacting with the locals is always beneficial, especially when your brain is picked on and stimulating conversations follow. No rocket science here. Although my life has been television-free for the past five years, it seems that my London immersion involves watching a bit of it. That is not necessarily where I get my neurones’ stimulation from, however, it certainly provides some starters for discussions. Last night starter was while watching The Voice UK (I know…) with friends with some dry sense of humour: “her hair is far more interesting than her singing. Now discuss.”

Locals can be the ones physically around you, or the ones in the area of discussion: distance is just a detail. Speaking of distance, Argentina recently drew attention with a politically charged video clip related to the Falklands utterly irritating the IOC. The option of discussing looks compromised, especially with less than 100 days to go to London. This is not about judging who is right here, rather thinking that discussing, debating or simply bouncing ideas on all topics seems to have become more and more difficult. We tend to walk on eggs “just in case”: why?

Have all subjects of conversation gone too sensitive to either be avoided or simply shot at “locals” to get some reaction? Is the Human kind the one capable of communicating, eloquently or not, to make, share and exchange a point? Being precautious, careful and delicate is great, and likely expected (wanting to think we are not animals). Now, are we more Human with going around the heart of a discussion just for damage control reasons? Or just making a unilateral decision without consulting another party, or, at least, making feel the other party invisible, and sometimes unworthy? Ask the international Windsurfing community how they feel about the recent International Sailing Federation’s decision to replace windsurfing with kiteboarding as of the 2016 Rio Games.

Controversy should be an industry by now: it is booming, and sometimes confused with publicity. Or is it? Clashes between values and politics, not only in sport, are fuelling some investors’ inspiration, and communication management is a business in itself (often known as “Public Relations”). Does that open any floor to discussion though? Being politically correct can go a long way, and seems a bit ambitious: how can one (organisation, for instance) please everybody, or a majority?

There is no need to be blunt, abrasive or bold to pass a message, even when this very message may sound unpleasant to its receiver. Making the effort of being inclusive and respectful (with the assumption that all locals involved share the same values) contributes to the progress of both an idea and a discussion. Some call it democracy, others “open dialogue”: there is no law, rule or bylaw, just open minds for it to work and move forward. Brains cells definitely get stimulated in such situations. Since it is also about feelings, granted we manage not to take anything personally, having an open and honest conversation is actually refreshing.