Just write the damn thing

When working in a group, you may sometimes struggle to get the group won over to your way of thinking. It’s a challenge. Sometimes you can’t state your case in a compelling manner. Sometimes your idea is terrible. Sometimes the group just won’t listen. But there’s a shortcut you can use to give your opinion a head start: write it down.

Blank pages are scary. They contain infinite possibility. It turns out that infinity is a really big, daunting concept. People don’t like them. This makes the blank page your opportunity.

Undoubtedly, the team will edit your draft heavily. It may get to the point where nothing remains of your original work. That’s okay. By having your opinion be the starting point, you give it some extra weight. You’re framing the discussion. If you’re particularly sneaky, you can even go a little beyond your actual position so that when it gets edited more toward the “middle”, it lands where you wanted.

This isn’t a fool-proof method by any stretch of the imagination. But you’re giving your idea a little bit of a boost. Even if your position isn’t the one the group settles on, being willing to write that first draft sets you apart. It doesn’t particularly matter if it’s good or not, because it’s going to be revised and revised and revised. So do you yourself a favor and just write the damn thing.

2 thoughts on “Just write the damn thing

  1. Very true, but underappreciated? This is basically the human pattern the European Commission uses to get legislation their way in the EU: only the Commission can propose a text, so they get to frame every discussion while Parliament and Council are mostly too lazy to escape it, end up doing cosmetic changes within the same structure. See Copyright directive 2019.

  2. @Frederico, thanks for the comment. You’re right that it’s a fairly common tactic in politics. I’m thinking more in the context business and volunteer/community organizations.

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