concerned with means interested in or relating to while concerned about is synonymous with worried about. Why did the author use concerned about although concerned with(interested in) fits the context better?

To help firms learn the skills of mentoring, I often hold company retreats to work on management skills and also to set goals for the coming year. One exercise in teamwork I do at a company retreat is to put the group in a circle. At one particular retreat, there were eight people in the circle, and I slowly handed tennis balls to one person to start throwing around the circle. If N equals the number of people in the circle, then the maximum number of balls you can have in motion is N minus 1. Why? Because it's almost impossible to throw and catch at the same time. The purpose of the exercise is to demonstrate the importance of an individual's action. People are much more concerned about catching the ball than throwing it. What this demonstrates is that it's equally important to the success of the exercise that the person you're throwing to catches the ball as that you are able to catch the ball. If you're less concerned about how you deliver information than with how you receive it, you'll ultimately fail at delegation. You have to be equally adept at both.

The Business of Design: Balancing Creativity and Profitability

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    I think "worried about" is the intended meaning. What makes you think "interested in" is? Mar 25, 2022 at 2:26

1 Answer 1


To a BrE speaker " People are much more concerned about catching the ball" implies that people are worried about their ability to catch the ball. Do they have sufficient dexterity to do so? Will they let their team down if they fail? Hence they are worried about failure. In this context, being interested in catching a ball does not make sense.

The same argument applies to the second use of the phrase. Concerned can also mean care and the sentence could be rewritten

If you care less about how you deliver information than how you receive it,...

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