We are the ones who come up with difficult questions. We are the ones who hold the mirror so that our employers, colleagues and clients can look at themselves. When we bring in other perspectives, we use not only logic and common sense, but also empathy.
“So terrified was he [my eldest brother] of being caught, by chance, in a false statement, that as a small boy he acquired the habit of adding ‘perhaps’ to everything he said. ‘Is that you Harry?’ Mama might call from the drawing-room. ‘Yes, Mama - perhaps.’ ‘Are you going upstairs?’ ‘Yes, perhaps.’”
The above is a quote from Eleanor Farjeon’s ‘A Nursery in the Nineties’ – an excerpt included in ‘The Uses of Argument’, by Stephen Toulmin. He used the term “non-committal façons de parler” in his book and that term stuck with me through the years.