Avoid Stereotypes, Overgeneralizations

Avoid logical fallacies, stereotypes, and overgeneralizations

Are lawyers liars?  Are union workers loafers?
Are Muslims fanatics?  Are politicians corrupt? Are the Irish drunks?

The answer to these questions is:  “Some are.” “It depends.”  Perhaps, “Many are.”

There is almost always a grain of truth in a stereotype.

But you must make sure that your generalizations do not become  over-generalizations, or stereotypes (which is what a stereotype is).   Generalizing can easily slip into stereotyping.

There will always be exceptions, sometimes notable and dramatic exceptions.  If you are in a debate, your opponent may cite an  exception or two, and pull you up short.

The only stereotype that can be safely used is a flattering one: “As thrifty as a Scot…as courteous as a Mexican…as quiet-spoken as an Ethiopian…as affable as an Irishman.”

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Gene Griessman is an internationally known keynote speaker, actor, and communication strategist. His book “TheWords Lincoln Lived By” is in its 23rd printing and “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” is in its 43rd printing. His training video “Lincoln on Communication” is owned by thousands of corporations, libraries, and government organizations. He has spoken at conventions and annual meetings all over the world. To learn more about his presentations, call 404-435-2225. Learn more at Atlanta Speakers Bureau or at his website. His latest book “Lincoln and Obama” has just been released by Audible.
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