Winning Arguments or Solving Problems

Which better describes the participants in the most intense discussions you find yourself.? Are they there to win arguments or solve problems?  Which better describes yourself?

I heard former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers use this turn of phrase during a recent Commonwealth Club of California radio broadcast.  I don't think it is uniquely hers, but it has really weighed on my mind. 

So much of our political discourse, so many countless hours in board or staff meetings, so many passionate exchanges with friends or colleagues amount to nothing more than attempts to win arguments.  But to what end when the problems still persist? 

I'm not suggesting we discard our belief systems or speak without passion, but we have to start getting more stuff done, more problems solved, more needs met, more issues addressed. Otherwise it's just words.  Just talk.  And I'm finding that to be so very, very tedious.