A happy accident occurs when we lay out a logical argument only for someone to accept its conclusion without grasping the reasoning behind it.
Sometimes people are on board, but way off. We are placed in a conundrum when the general direction we want to travel in is agreed upon but the logic for doing so escapes those who are in favor. Sometimes, logical trains of thought are simply too difficult to convey accurately to others.
Other times, our listeners / readers take a simpler, cheaper line of thinking for reasons why they agree with our position. A question of whether we have a responsibility of ensuring not only the consent of, but the detailed understanding of our decisions as leaders arises.
When should we ensure someone to be fully in tune with the reasoning for an argument whose summation they naively support?
This article aims to explore the instance of someone agreeing with you for the wrong reasons, and when you should ensure they’re on the same page.
A Leader Is Perceived to Be Weaker With Each Straw-Man Follower That Falls
It feels good to have supporters of the ideas we put out. Generally, the more people that agree with the notions we express the better. A high acceptance rate of the ideas you manage to successfully communicate into the world works to contribute to their sense of correctness.
For example, seeing a high like to dislike ratio on a social media post / video tells us there is a predetermined truth to the content we’re about to consume. Rate and breadth of idea adoption is thereby an important factor in not only those ideas’ strength, but in the public interpretation of you as the originator of those ideas.
The followers you attract to your good ideas will vary in intellect and understanding. People with good ideas typically ignore the issues with attracting low caliber followers of their work. Those issues center around the followers you attract being unable to properly represent those ideas when challenged to defend them.
You’ll notice that as the originator of good ideas, you’ll not only care for how logically sound they are but also how well represented they are by others. Ideas which are right but poorly defended are easy to mistakenly perceive as wrong. The more of your followers which poorly defend the ideas they adopt from you, the more wrong your ideas will begin to be publicly perceived.
It is thereby in your best interest to challenge those who support your ideas but fail to grasp the logical connections behind them. It feels counter-intuitive to do. You’ll be motivated to ignore the more naive followers of your ideas in hopes of them not needing to defend the ideas they barely understand in the near future. Ignoring quality for more quantity regarding the people who agree with you should be performed carefully.
The Volatility of the Broken Telephone
Even if those who don’t quite grasp the reasoning behind your arguments aren’t tasked to defend them, they’ll likely be motivated to share them. The ideas that hit the mark – from our perspective – motivate us to share them with those in our circles. If we learn things which genuinely help us in our lives, it makes sense to share them with those whose lives we yearn to help ourselves.
We’re motivated to share things that teach us something we judge to be true for a variety of other factors too. Such factors include a desire to be the first people to present valuable information to those around us. It provides us a sense of importance when our friends see us as someone who serves as a courier for helpful insight and information. It gives us an important identity and a sense of purpose.
The people you impress with your ideas and arguments will thereby be motivated to tell others about them. It will feel good to have your thoughts be spread by word of mouth without your active participation in their influence on others. That feeling may motivate you to be lax in ensuring the quality of a person’s understanding of your ideas prior to them going on to spread the love.
By spreading ideas, thoughts, and arguments people have a narrow true understanding of, they’ll devalue those thoughts and arguments in the face of any opposition. The game of broken telephone will not only set back the legitimacy of your arguments and thoughts, but it’ll prime opposing parties to be set against you should you come in to clarify what you really meant.
By addressing your ideas which were deformed and misrepresented via a process of broken telephone, you’ll find yourself crawling out of a hole from the start. You’ll be at a perpetual disadvantage because you didn’t dot every “i” and cross every “t” that you could have. Those who share your thoughts and ideas with others will run out of ability to defend them, and are thereby likely to point any prying opposing parties to the source.
Try your best to ensure you’re not placed in a disadvantaged position by well meaning followers of your words and work. Correct as many shaky interpretations of your good ideas early on in an effort to save yourself from correcting others’ mistakes down the line when the pressure’s on.
Your lack of assurance that your initial pupils thoroughly understood your opinions and arguments on certain matters may thereby force you to defend what you didn’t really say, write, or insinuate.
At that point, you’ll have the option of either throwing the people who shared your ideas under the bus by labeling them to not have understood those ideas properly, or somehow guide the conversation toward more accurate realms whilst defending your ideas. It wouldn’t be an optimal position to begin a discussion with an opposing party with.