Explain Your Opponent’s Perspective

Here’s one of the simplest ways to test someone’s knowledge of an issue: ask them to explain the other side of the argument.

Ask the person who’s pro-choice to explain the pro-life perspective.

Ask the person who’s in favor of spending more money on marketing project X to explain the thinking process behind those who oppose the budgetary move.

Ask McCain supporters why in the world someone would support Obama and see if they give an answer beyond, “He’s a good speaker.”

Ask those who deride the bailout plan in Congress to explain the argument for the bailout plan.

Bottom Line: I have yet to find a more efficient and reliable way to probe the depths of a person’s knowledge and seriousness about an issue than asking them to explain the other side’s perspective.

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