Great paper from Brendan Keegan, Founder & Managing Partner of velocityHUB on Decisions to be Made and Difference of Opinions in boardroom environment. This article applies to many other meeting situations. 

Here are 3 take aways:

1. A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding.

–Marshall McLuhan

Advocacy puts you in a position of “stance”. When you advocate, you are trying to impart or enforce a particular action, position or set of principles. You are trying to persuade by arguing for the position you are advocating.


2. Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, inquiry the progress, ignorance the end.

-Michel de Montaigne

Inquiry is an attempt to understand the position of others, rather than change their opinions – at first. Once you consider and appreciate the opposing party’s position, ask questions. Inquire about their point of view. Think and make them think.


3. Reason and inquiry are the only effective agents against error.

-Thomas Jefferson

When you have spent time to understand and validate the others’ perspective, ask questions that will make them think about your position. For example, “Do we know what this will look like from a budget standpoint?” “What do you think of the financials if we move forward?” Inquiry encourages contemplation. You can phrase the questions in a way that will influence your audience.


Follow the link to read more: Inquiry vs. Advocacy Paper