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Thread: Verbal Motivation

  1. #1 Verbal Motivation 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Driving in my car
    Brig. Gen. Gavin: I'm sending two companies across the river by boat. I need a man with very special qualities to lead.
    Maj. Julian Cook: Go on, sir.
    Brig. Gen. Gavin: He's got to be tough enough to do it and he's got to be experienced enough to do it. Plus one more thing. He's got to be dumb enough to do it... Start getting ready.
    Excerpts from the movie "A Bridge too Far". Paratroopers must make an amphibious assault across a fast moving 400 yards wide river in collapsible boats and then face 200 yards of open beach to reach a fiercely guarded end of a bridge. Whether the general actually said it like that to the major doesn't matter, the point is he is using a tactic designed to motivate or persuade his subordinate to basically mount a suicide mission.

    How many of us fall for this type of coaxing? The soft soap approach, the blandishments and sweet talk only to have that followed by what amounts to an insult. Do we tend to disregard the insult as only humor, the opposite of what it really means, and pay more attention to flattery? What compels us to accept near impossible career risking or life threatening assignments? The power of speech and of words when foisted upon the human psyche, is it more of a motivator than force?

    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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