Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich?
Recently, the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC – yes, that does exist) officially announced a policy on the ‘Hot Dog as a Sandwich’ controversy. If you feel that you missed out on the discussion, you are in good company. However, those close to the situation were deeply involved in active discussion on the matter.
Just as both politics and religion can unite or divide a group, the question of whether a hotdog is a sandwich or not stirred quite the fury on many social media platforms. The deep philosophical divide played out on the Today Show, ESPN’s Sportscenter, in locker rooms and across the internet too. Arguments for suggested it qualifies as a sandwich, which is meat between bread. Yes, there were questions about whether it is really meat! Things got a little muddy over the debate on open or closed sandwiches.
In the end, after much healthy debate, as the official voice for the hotdog, NHDSC settled the dispute announcing that once and for all, the hotdog is truly in a category of its own. It was hoped that this would bring clarity and peace of mind to all.
The important thing about this whole process is the way in which the debate was handled. Did everyone get heard? Was there respect between the debaters?
Ways to Encourage Healthy Debate
- Start with a good spirit about knowledge.
It is not about winning here, nor egos. It is about the team finding truth. Look for answers, not victory.
- Don’t assume anything, especially from email.
Email is convenient for sure, but can easily be misconstrued. Before you react to any email communication, consider all of the possibilities in the meaning. Carefully consider your tone when responding.
- State, up front, the desired outcome.
To obtain positive results, everyone should be clear on the discussion, keep the spirit uplifting, and have clear rules of engagement too.
- Give others the benefit of the doubt.
Moments during a debate are an excellent opportunity to reflect. Always remain cool and keep your emotions low – this will help keep a good perspective.
- Learn more than you win!
By keeping an open mind, you may open up new opportunities.
- Treat others as comrades not adversaries.
Start every debate thinking of others as your best friend. After all, you never know how important this person may be to your future.
- Make sure everyone is comfortable with the process.
Value the people involved in the debate enough to keep them comfortable. Good morale goes a long way. Check in periodically to ensure everyone is ok, that will build trust – and trust will ensure success.
There are multiple benefits for those who engage in constructive and healthy debates. It is all about building leadership skills, advanced critical thinking, enhanced communication skills and overall it can be a great way to team build!