What would it look like if you did win?

Erikjan Lantink
3 min readJun 6

There’s a commercial on Dutch TV about the risk of polarization. It’s short, cute, and full of great intentions.

You witness friends and a father and daughter argue over climate and immigrant issues. Then a voiceover enters the scene and states:

“What will it look like when you win this argument?”

It was followed by making the point that our world is becoming increasingly polarized and that it’s really up to us to do something about it.

The 30" commercial ends with the two arguers apologizing to each other.


A bit corny, to be honest.

And a waste of tax money, given that it’s a government advertisement. There’s no chance that those people heavily invested in their own beliefs, arguments, and eagerness to polarize are in any way impressed by this commercial.

Not even after running the ad a thousand times.

Those who are already sensitive to the topic, and try to see things from different perspectives, don’t need this ad to try to prevent polarization.

I’m afraid polarization won’t go away, and all the invested ad money is a terrible waste.

Blame social media.

Because that is the main culprit in our polarized society. Algorithms get to know us better than we know ourselves and point us diligently toward the images and messages we want to see.

We get brainwashed without knowing it.

Add a little stress of living and working in a faster and faster-paced world, and the cocktail of brainless arguing is served.

So when arguing, are you truly listening or trying to win the conversation?

Again, what does it look like if you did win?

How great is the satisfaction when you know you’ve countered your conversation partner, who may not be as skilled as you are in bringing their points across?

Are you, therefore, primarily interested in being understood, or do you know the meaning of one of Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly Effective…

Erikjan Lantink

Business & Leadership coach. Interim Leader. Writer. Speaker. Former Retail Executive (general management; operations; HR)