Let’s face it, people who live to make points do so at the risk of jeopardizing their relationships and, ultimately, being on the losing side. Never in the heat of the moment or in calculated opportunities should we risk or leverage our dignity, moral standing and influence to simply make a point.
I have seen, albeit too often, how young civic-minded individuals engage themselves in community activism simply to make a point. At the end of the day, both they and the situation they fight so passionately for are no better off.
Points are just that, a point. According to dictionary.com, a point is “a sharp or tapering end, something that has position but not extension.” It’s meant to bring about an ending to a thing. Points end sentences. Period. The issue here is that most start with points and have no actual substance – no sentence, no structure and mostly nothing of great benefit to communicate. Therefore, they have no lasting effect and no forward momentum to develop into what’s really needed for a given situation.
What is needed instead of making a point is a solution. Solutions, unlike points, take more time to develop. Solutions, unlike points require consensus building and buy in. Solutions require consideration for others. Solutions require activity on our part.
Everyone has a point to make but few have solutions to offer. If you want to win, stopping making points and start offering solutions. Solutions have staying power. They have the power to manifest themselves repeatedly, even under the smallest level of success.
If you want to make a point, that’s fine. But, if you want to affect outcomes, offer solutions. Take your time to do the research, listen to viewpoints outside of your own and then formulate an idea or thought that wins. Solutions always win over points.
The next time someone is adamant about making their point, remember and remind them of this: S.A.W. points never again (Solutions Always Win. Points never again.)
This post originally appeared on Whitney Rawls.com.