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Choosing You For Your Nationality On The Team

The exchange went

Him: (joking tone, a bit patronising) Why do you think we chose you to be in the team?
Your nationality.
Not because of your skills and expertise.

Myself: I will happily sit on my ass, wave my passport during meetings and collect my compensation.

Him: Hahah no man, we need you to do what you are doing.

It wasn't too bad because he backtracked.
Though I didn't dispute that he was the "chooser".
It is supposed to be a mutual collaboration between 2 committees.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

Hello Sam,

I don’t understand. Could you provide more context?

 

My event team is working externally with an organisation to organise an event.

I am an event organiser. The other person is a marketing manager.

I was sharing about my country, and he made the remark during a discussion.

Very good thinking on your feet to come up with that response, and great humor.

And yes, good that he backtraked.

Since what he said was very value-taking and quite disempowering, I might have added one more line after his backtracking, like:

Him: Hahah no man, we need you to do what you are doing.
You: Good, I'm glad you say that, so if my contribution helps, then maybe let's also avoid disempowering comments that frame us as useless

Sam Wellington has reacted to this post.
Sam Wellington
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 18, 2021, 2:31 pm

And yes, good that he backtraked.

Since what he said was very value-taking and quite disempowering, I might have added one more line after his backtracking, like:

Him: Hahah no man, we need you to do what you are doing.
You: Good, I'm glad you say that, so if my contribution helps, then maybe let's also avoid disempowering comments that frame us as useless

Awesome, thanks Lucio!

Using his own statement to solidify and draw a boundary.
The "maybe" does help to take away the confrontational vibe.

In heavy disrespects, probably sarcasm/humour is not enough to "re-balance" the interaction.
It's important to set the tone that this is absolutely not okay.

Hmm, it actually does not make sense to disempower someone in your team.
Maybe some bigger politics or personal vendetta against my nationality.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Sam Wellington on February 18, 2021, 5:48 pm

Awesome, thanks Lucio!

Using his own statement to solidify and draw a boundary.
The "maybe" does help to take away the confrontational vibe.

In heavy disrespects, probably sarcasm/humour is not enough to "re-balance" the interaction.
It's important to set the tone that this is absolutely not okay.

Hmm, it actually does not make sense to disempower someone in your team.
Maybe some bigger politics or personal vendetta against my nationality.

Exactly, the "maybe" takes the edge off, and so does the "us", rather than "me".

And yes, his power move was really lose-lose in the end.
It's possible indeed he had some hidden personal issues he was taking out on you.

Sam Wellington has reacted to this post.
Sam Wellington
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Ahhh yes, the "we" frame.
Sounds collaborative.

I'm thinking to take charge of leading the vibe of the discussions more.
It really does need to be more positive and collaborative overall.

After drawing the boundary clearly, I should probably come in and bring the vibe up.
I do have enough influence within the environment to do that.

Him: Hahah no man, we need you to do what you are doing.

You: Good, I'm glad you say that, so if my contribution helps, then maybe let's also avoid disempowering comments that frame us as useless.

Anyways, we are doing well for the event.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions so far.

Here is my proposed course of action on my side.
I would like to hear everyone's thoughts.

The "thanks" is to shame him for the negative remark.
While, at the same time, it brings up everyone else on the team.

Then back to business so we can have a productive discussion.