Please or Register to create posts and topics.

Feedbacks & clarifications

My Observations on Resolving Disputes on Forums

It seems to be really challenging to work out disagreements on forums.
Probably due to asynchronous communication across time zones and work schedules.

I don't really have an answer to this problem but it's more of an observation.

Not sure if there is a possible option for people to private message each other.
But I can see how this can be potentially abused by spammers.

Potential Issues With Asynchronous Communication

We want to convey multiple points and move things forward concisely in a forum message.
A key issue arises when one party has more time to reply and the other has less time to reply.

The party with more time to reply feels that the other party is not putting in the effort to understand the message and resolve any disagreements.
The party with less time to reply feels that the other party is overwhelming him, and he focuses on stating his main point concisely again.

The discussion can get lost in communication.
If there are disagreements, this would lead to a feeling of things not being resolved.

As I can see, communication is significantly worse on other forums.
ThePowerMoves forum has more socially savvy people who communicate clearly, so this is less likely to happen.
But statistically speaking, a miscommunication or an escalated disagreement will be bound to happen.

The Nature of Forums - Conflict Resolution is Challenging in Public

Everything is out in public.
There is no privacy to resolve conflicts.
Vulnerability and attentive listening happen more often in private spaces where people feel emotionally safer.

My 2-Cents On What Happened

No one wanted those threads to escalate.
The constraints of communicating on a forum caused a misunderstanding.
Taking the communication off this forum may help to bring things back together.
Understandably, this would take time to reach out and organise.

Lucio Buffalmano and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

I agree. I'll comment more later on.

Matthew Whitewood and Stef have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodStef

I think sometimes we can come across a way we did not intended, so really when people flesh out their perception of what "we did" to us, it is not really an attack of who we are nor of what we actually did, just a reaction to a possible interpretation of our intentions in accordance to their particular perception of what happened, as any communication medium/channel/vehicle is not 100% perfect, and it is great that we have an open space to clarify those interactions.

Lucio Buffalmano, Matthew Whitewood and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew WhitewoodJohn Freeman
Quote from Stef on December 19, 2020, 10:16 pm

I think sometimes we can come across a way we did not intended, so really when people flesh out their perception of what "we did" to us, it is not really an attack of who we are nor of what we actually did, just a reaction to a possible interpretation of our intentions in accordance to their particular perception of what happened, as any communication medium/channel/vehicle is not 100% perfect, and it is great that we have an open space to clarify those interactions.

I agree. So here is my perspective. After the infamous two posts exchange and feed-back, I see this:

I don't know if you've seen this thread John, take a look it, it's about giving each other feedback for personal and social development (I previous "@ the wrong nickname").

Now, I want to say that I changed my mind and I think such a thread is not a good idea (I did not see the first post about your Lucio's compliment in the first place). For a few reasons:

  1. It's public: Matthew pointed it out. A lot of the problems that we are still resolving (that's why I'm typing this text) is because of a lack of a private channel. Would it be possible to have messages like on the other forums please? I already know about your ideas about email and I agree. However, having to deal with everything publicly creates problems.
  2. Well, 2 posts out of 3 concerns me in exchange where the owner-moderator did not like my way of communicating. To me this really felt like I was being targeted because: 1. they were taken out of the threads they pertain to. 2. They were not posed as questions (why did you say that?) so it was all negative interpretations of my intentions and behaviors. So I think they were not fair. Moreover, they are unsollicited feed-backs with assumptions on my character, which I feel is not fair.

So for the interpretation, here is my general answer: misunderstanding. Below are the details. I feel sad that you interpreted my words this way but misunderstandings happen all the time.

I'll go first.

In this thread, this exchange happened:

Lucio: Oh, wow, respect. You're probably the most educated person in here, John
John: I don't think it really matters as Life is not a contest nor a race to me. Everyone has a different Life path: I made different choices and had different outcomes.

Can you see the dynamic there?

POWER DYNAMICS FEEDBACK

Here's my interpretation:

My message was a compliment, bringing John up.
Compliments are not just appreciation, but also (or sometimes only) exchanges of "emotional gifts".

And in terms of power dynamics, the power flows from the complimenter, to the complimented.

To me, it was not a compliment. It was a "you're different" stance. I did not answer first with this answer because I did not like when Ali linked in a passive-aggressive way to another post. So I did not want to do it to you. However, the truth is that on this forum there is a post talking about "Never say you're different" and there are a few arguments that Lucio talks about that I won't repeat her. That was exactly what I told you earlier in the thread: I don't talk about my degrees because they stir negative emotions in other people. I don't want to be made special nor above. So if you want to see my answer as a power move, feel free. I had to neutralize your answer because I did not like how it made me feel. Your thread about "you're different" explains it well. You could not know how it resonates with me as we never discussed on this topic. Maybe my communication about it was not clear.

Second, a compliment is a gift, how the person takes it is up to them. To me there are no expectations nor strings attached when a compliment is given.

When John doesn't acknowledge the compliment, the receiver feels diminished, emotionally spurned, and low on power.
The complimenter "put himself out there", in a vulnerable position, and expanded effort. Socially, John has been pulled up after the compliment

I'm sorry that is how you see compliments.

If John ignores it or, worse, spurns it, that ends being an (unwillingly) power scalping.

If this is how you see compliments, I agree. But I don't see compliments this way. To me they are a gift with no strings attach. I did not feel pulled up at all. I'm sorry you felt "diminished, emotionally spurned". I did not reject you, I rejected the pedestal I was put on.

Of course, John never asked for a compliment.

True

But that still doesn't change the dynamics.

It depends how you see things (see my perspective).

In this specific case, the reply was also an (indirect, unwilling) one-up.
See it again:

John: I don't think it really matters as Life is not a contest nor a race to me. Everyone has a different Life path: I made different choices and had different outcomes.

Once again, I felt cornered: "Wow you're the most educated person here". So either I say "yes",  I don't want and don't like it or I say "no". I only have the choice to accept or refuse the compliment. I created a third way: there is no compliment because the measure you use to judge me does not exist on the scale of the universe. Therefore, I'm not superior to anybody.

It indirectly paints me, the complimenter, as someone who might see life as a contest.

When you talk about superior or inferior, it means that there is a measuring stick. I reject the measuring stick you used as to me it is meaningless. I understand you value it and this is why you view it as a compliment. But to me, sincerely, it does not matter. My answer IS my honest answer. I don't think it puts you in a bad light.

And it all started with a compliment.

How is the complimenter going to feel, with that dynamic?

Like he's got a friend, an ally, and a buddy he count on?
Or like he needs to be guarded, going forward?

To me, our belief systems and personal history collided, that's all. You have a Life story that makes you see things this way and I have a Life story that make me things the way I describe above.

Chances are the latter, and that he'll be thinking: f*ck me if I'll make another compliment again :).

Once again, I think your perspective on compliments is disempowering. If you feel like you've lost something when the person does not accept the compliment, then I think you're missing on one of the joys of life. It would not be fair if I would not share my perspective: I don't care if the person takes or not the compliment. To me, giving a compliment is a self-expression. If I don't react well if the person doesn't acknwoledge the compliment I'm giving, it means I'm expecting something back. In these cases I acknowledge that these negative emotions come from my own interpretation. I do my best to understand why I felt hurt and move on.

Do that many times over in your life, and you end up with less collaborations, more competitions, and more frenemies.
That's why, in your life, you generally want to acknowledge the compliment, even if the actual compliment means jack squat to you.

Here, it almost feel like a threat as it's not a general example but in this case you're taking an example where you're responding to me.

In this case, purely as an example:

Lucio: Oh, wow, respect. You're probably the most educated person in here, John
John: Ahaha thanks man, I don't make much of it, but yeah, they're there now

I would never answer like this. It is not my character. I'm someone who cultivates humility and this is not humility at all. If you would have said: "wow, it must have been quite a challenge to do this". I would have answered: "You bet!". This I can acknowledged: it was hard (still is), a challenge, lots of failures and many sacrifices. But it does not make me superior, so I would never accept even the slightest hint at this.

PERSONAL CLARIFICATION

In this case, I made little of it, so I don't feel the need for any personal clarification with John.

Past history also matters.
John is a long-standing member and I consider him a "good guy", as well as potentially someone that I might also meet in person one day.

If it had been a first exchange, then I'd have probably made a first mental note.

To me, this also feels like a threat. Because I answered in a considered disrespected maner, then I'm being suspicious on trying to have negative intentions. The threat: "you're lucky to have history, or this could have gotten you in trouble". Not fair.


THIS IS ALL FOR LEARNING SAKE

Since this is the first message here, I repeat that this all for learning's sake.

While the above feedback might have gone lost without this thread, we can know all better learn social dynamics and social strategies when we use this thread for feedback.

@john if you don't want to have this feedback here, let me know and I'll remove links and names, plus can also change the wording so that it can't be searched.

To me, I felt like my goodwill and character was being questioned. To say "it's for learning sake" after putting me on the spot without trying to understand my perspective does not feel fair. After the first post regarding answering to posts (Judoka) I felt it was one attack, but with this one on top of it. It makes two with the same flavor. Also you admit with your last sentence that it frames me negatively.

So at first, I thought this thread was a new and good idea and I embraced it. But now that I see the flavor of it and how I experimented it was rather value-taking than value-adding.

I understand you felt disrepected and I'm sorry you felt this way. That was neither my intention nor my actions. You know I speak directly and I'm sure you will appreciate my thinking behind this. The key word is interpretation. You interpreted my sentence in a negative way and it was not. I understand the whole analysis but I really don't see it this way.

I am now currently doing my best to improve our relationship. I don't know if I did or said something that pissed you off in the past. If that's the case, I hope you will let it go. If it's not the case, then it's all good on my side at least. I would have said this privately but since I cannot, here it is publicly.

John: To me, it was not a compliment. It was a "you're different" stance.

Thank you for explaining, this is awesome feedback.

I wasn't even thinking about that possibility, actually.

To me, this makes this thread already super valuable: I've just increased my emotional intelligence.
The next time someone doesn't accept a compliment with a "thank you", I'll be able to consider this option, too.

John: Now, I want to say that I changed my mind and I think such a thread is not a good idea

Already, note taken.

I won't be using it anymore for you, John, and moderate it accordingly if someone else does.

If you change your mind, just let me/us know.

ABOUT EMAIL / PM EXCHANGES

I'll be looking into that.

It's an uncommon event that anyone needs clarification, but one workaround: if two people need mediation / private talking, then I can pass each other's contact provided that they both agree.

THIS THREAD GOING FORWARD: FORGING FORWARD

Let's keep up this thread/experiment for a while longer.

And please don't refrain from giving me feedback as well :).

John Freeman and Mist1102 have reacted to this post.
John FreemanMist1102
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I will clarify: I'm not against the idea. I'm against the execution. The idea about feed-back and clarifications is good. However I think these are best given privately as otherwise it does not work as well as intended.

As I said, I felt I had to defend against 2 attacks against my character. So to me, it was an emotionally disagreeable experience. I learned things through the whole dynamics but I did not feel that it was something FOR me. But rather that I was used as an example of what not to do through negative interpretations of my behavior. I felt I was painted as "the bad guy" and I did not like it. That is all.

So once more: I only have 2 choices. Either I accept to get feed-back this way and it proves that I'm a "good guy" or I don't and it shows I have a fixed mindset and an ego-base response. This is not the case. I'm always open to feed-back, even if not sollicited (see my first answer). As I said it's not the intention, it's the way it was delivered and the interpretations. I think you're right to keep the experiment up.

So my answer (3rd option) is: I'm open to all kinds of feed-backs as long as there is an open conversation where I can express my own perspective as I did here. It might be painful but I will learn from it. If I have to defend against the validity of the feed-back itself (If I feel it's not founded) then there is no value whatsoever for me apart from the experience of defending myself. Then I'm not in a position of learning from the said-feedback. That being said I can understand your position is a difficult one: you're a teacher, moderator, owner, forum member, etc. So sometimes it's difficult to find the right posture to reach the desired goal.

I hope my answer is clear. Among other things about you, I value your mind, knowledge and attitude.

I'll tell it how I think: I feel like I made too many critics towards you and your mind registered me subconsciously as a threat. I'm saying this because I know I can do that to people and that's a flaw. So once again, excuse my direct tone and my lack of patience sometimes. I know that feed-back is good for the mental side but not agreeable for the emotional side. For me as well. I admit that I did not react well to the whole dynamic and that I shut myself in. However, as I said sometimes I need time to process these kinds of events, emotionally and mentally. I continue to give you feed-back but before every time I do so, I hesitate because I know I'm drawing in the emotional bank account I have with you. I still do it because otherwise I would not be a friend.

I'm currently listening to "The power of a positive no", next is "Thank you for the feed-back". I'm looking forward to be able to say better "Nos" and to improve my ability to give and receive feed-back. I'm aware I have progress to made in these two areas.

Ok I thought about it: I understand that such exchanges can be valuable learning experience for the community. As said above, maybe I need more distance on the whole event.

John: I'm open to all kinds of feed-backs as long as there is an open conversation where I can express my own perspective as I did here.

John, for sure, everyone can always express their thoughts about the feedback, or reject the feedback outright.

John: If I have to defend against the validity of the feed-back itself (If I feel it's not founded) then there is no value whatsoever for me apart from the experience of defending myself.

That, one cannot guarantee.
There is always the possibility of feedback that adds little value, or that misses the mark.

All I can say about this, is that feedback here must be respectful, and if it makes people feel personally attacked, then it's probably poor feedback. And if it's offensive, then it's not feedback, but it becomes an admin issue, and will be dealt with accordingly.

Private feedback can still happen on different channels, but on this thread, it's public.
It's challenging, for sure.
And it might give rise to some tensions, that's also true.

But I'm optimistic about it.
If it can't work in this community, then it probably can't work anywhere else :).

Matthew Whitewood and Mist1102 have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodMist1102
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

True statements. I like your vision. Then, learning from the previous episode, I will ask you a question (I'll verbalize more from now on): Why have you made everything public only on the forum?

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Quote from John Freeman on December 20, 2020, 8:46 pm

Why have you made everything public only on the forum?

What do you mean by "only on the forum", John?

Like "why not having comments open on the articles as well"?
Or why some time ago even guests could comment?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I mean: why are there no private message boxes like on other forums? That we can use to message other forum members.

Processing...