Discussion – compassion more than competition

Comments made by All Black coach Steve Hansen on his interview on The Nation are pertinent to blogging and social media discussion.

How do you motivate yourself? You spend a lot of time motivating the team, obviously, but what’s motivating you?

Interestingly enough, I don’t think my job is to motivate the team. My job is to create an environment where motivated athletes can perform. So how do I motivate myself? I guess it’s, one, I love winning – really love it. I’m a very, very competitive person.

You know, I love debating and having discussions. And when I was younger, I was probably an average human being because of that, because I’d lose sight of, actually, this is just a discussion; it’s not a competition. That took a while for me to learn that and probably hurt some people along the way, but… So I love winning.

It’s especially easy to try and hurt people, or to hurt people inadvertently, when discussing things online, as you are not personally engaged.

How did you hurt people? By…?

Well, New Zealanders are great at putting other people down. You know, some of us are quite sharp with our tongues, and you hurt people’s feelings by smacking them when— I don’t mean physically but verbally because you’ve outwitted them, but you walk away feeling pretty good about yourself because you’ve won that argument, but really you didn’t. You lost. You know, you lost somebody.

So once you learn those sorts of things, I think that’s a little easier to understand compassion, I guess.

Online discussions are often robust and sometimes testy and tetchy. But it’s worth all of us remembering the importance of some degree of compassion.

There are people involved in all sides of debate. Strong disagreement is going to happen.

Remembering there are people involved and maintaining a degree of compassion is something we should all think about.

And learning something from discussion and helping others learn something is more important than winning, isn’t it? Political discussions rarely have an end and rarely have a winner, they are ongoing works in progress.

Source: Steven Hansen on The Nation

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1 Comment

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  14th September 2015

    You win if you learn something. But most,often all you learn is that there is no substance behind the opinion.


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