Pragmatic Pedantics

I used to think that being called a pragmatist was a compliment, and being called pedantic was an insult. But I’ve learned that it depends on the circumstances.

I don’t want a pragmatic anesthesiologist if I am getting prepped for surgery. The dosage needs to be accurate. Too much and sometimes it’s fatal, not enough, and the operation can’t begin. I’ll take pedantic all day long.

If I’m baking a cake and I can’t remember how much salt to add, then just a couple of pinches will do. It won’t matter if it’s too much or too little. Just enough is plenty. That’s where pragmatism works just fine.

The same principals apply to contract negotiation. Some clauses require accuracy and precision. Be pedantic, because those details could save your business or your livelihood later on. There are parts of the contract that may be worth conceding, and that’s where pragmatism kicks in.

Pragmatism saves me time upfront and helps me get stuff done. Pedanticism saves my skin later when things get examined with a fine-tooth comb. Learn to spot the difference.

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