Two-Minute Mentor #1: Argue like the Wright Brothers

Wright Brothers: Orville and Wilbur

The Wright brothers, most notable for inventing powered flight, also enjoyed developing their critical thinking by fiercely debating with each other.

Wilbur and Orville found debating and challenging each other’s viewpoints was a constructive way to identify solutions to a myriad of problems or resolve their interpersonal conflicts.

The Wright brothers often took two different sides of an argument, debated the subject, then switched sides and debated the opposing argument. Orville Wright once narrated, “Often, after an hour or so of heated argument, we would discover that we were as far from agreement as when we started, but that each had changed to the other’s original position.”

Idea for Impact: Only when you contrast your point of view with an opponent’s does your own make sense. Use the Wright Brothers’ technique of double-sided debate to question your own preconceptions about an issue and appreciate alternative perspectives.

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