How to Become More Pragmatic
Pragmatic is a philosophy that embraces the idea of learning and understanding by doing. It emphasizes the importance of action in knowledge acquisition and development, while also acknowledging the limitations of a scientific or technological approach to knowledge. This pragmatic view promotes an ongoing assessment of current knowledge and encourages individuals to take the risks of trial-and-error in pursuit of new insights (Kelemen and Simpson, 2011).
Pragmatism has a broad range of applications across the disciplines, including linguistics, psychology, and social work. In linguistics, the study of pragmatics looks at how meaning is communicated and interpreted in conversation, as well as how language is used within specific contexts. It also examines the way people politely hedge a request or negotiate turn-taking norms in conversation. Pragmatics is also important for understanding ambiguity in communication.
In social work, pragmatism seeks to connect theory and practice in order to promote a more collaborative, effective approach to service delivery. This is reflected in the growing interest in practice-based evaluation, which emphasizes the use of data to assess program effectiveness and inform future decisions (Onwuegbuzie and Leech, 2005).
A major critique of Pragmatism is that it may lead to relativism, where truth and moral values are based on individual or societal preferences rather than objective standards. This type of pragmatism may also discourage long-term investments in knowledge and effort that may yield less immediate or tangible benefits.
Another problem associated with Pragmatism is its skepticism of fixed theories and dogmas. Critics worry that this can undermine the accumulation of knowledge and hinder the development of overarching explanatory models. Pragmatists have responded to this concern by developing sub-schools of the philosophy with subtle variations on classical pragmatism, such as linguistic pragmatists who focus on the role of discourse in social processes.
To learn how to become more pragmatic, start by experimenting with small, non-critical decisions in your everyday life. Once you’ve mastered this, gradually begin to make larger decisions from a pragmatic perspective. By tackling smaller tasks first, you can build up confidence and develop your skills without compromising on the quality of your choices.
When it comes to professional decisions, pragmatism can be especially useful. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that pragmatic character types are more successful than thoughtful ones. Instead of trying to anticipate every possible scenario that could occur during a project, the pragmatist takes advantage of any opportunity that arises right away. The thoughtful colleague, on the other hand, is likely to overthink things and create mental blocks that prevent him from acting quickly. This can cause a great deal of friction and misunderstanding between the two types, so it’s essential for pragmatic people to understand the emotional obstacles that their thoughtful counterparts face. This will help them avoid causing unnecessary problems for themselves and their coworkers.