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Feedbacks & clarifications

Quote from selffriend on April 29, 2021, 2:15 am

Even if the comments contain explicitly insulting or abusive words, I will objectively and seriously consider the content, learn from it, and even agree with the reasonable part of it.

Have you been in interactions on this forum with comments containing explicitly insulting or abusive words?

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Lucio Buffalmanoselffriend
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on April 29, 2021, 6:28 am

Quote from selffriend on April 29, 2021, 2:15 am

Even if the comments contain explicitly insulting or abusive words, I will objectively and seriously consider the content, learn from it, and even agree with the reasonable part of it.

Have you been in interactions on this forum with comments containing explicitly insulting or abusive words?

Yes, Matthew, you could find abusive, insulting, offensive, or rude words, such as "idiot" and "a-hole", in page 25 of this thread. Thank you for asking.

I acknowledge that Lucio's intention was good and his comments are overall value-adding; he is a good person.

In the next example, while my feedback was originally framed as friendly, non-judgmental, opinion-neutral and direction-neutral, Lucio tries to impose the worst possible frame on my words, without acknowledging the overall tone and attitude of my feedbacks.

Selffriend: I acknowledge that I don't have the emotional intelligence to understand why you misrepresented my words, so I am open to learn more. Probably I was not clear enough, probably I have poor communication skills, or probably you over-think my words with good reasons. I believe you have good intentions as a friend and a good leader.

Lucio: You do with it whatever you please. Including disregarding it, and believing that Lucio was an idiot for misunderstanding and/or misreading your words, which is most certainly possible.

Here, Selffriend provides a feedback, admits his lack of knowledge, and admits the majority of the responsibility for miscommunication, putting himself in a vulnerable position.

Lucio does not explain the misreading, instead trying to impose the worst possible "idiot" frame on Selffriend's words. In the original feedback, Selffriend believes that Lucio is a friend with good intentions; Lucio reframes Selffriend's friendly frame with an "idiot" frame, taking the worst possible interpretation of Selffriend's intention.

Though, I still believe that Lucio's original intention is value-adding and I am willing to take the reasonable parts of his comments.

TPM is a value-adding forum. Here, I think we should believe that everyone here has a good intention, rather than using offensive words and taking the worst possible interpretation of anyone's intention.

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Lucio Buffalmano

A quote springs to mind:

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

Selfriend,

I'm not sure what you're talking about, and how to get out of it.

And I'm not willing to invest time on it because:

  1. I don't think it would end any time soon
  2. I think it should have been clear enough
  3. The level of misunderstanding suggests me you might not be ready for this forum

Both this forum and the website require a minimum amount of verbal and social skills, intuition, and "feel" to make the most out of it.

It's possible that you're better served by starting with some other resources, rather than getting into power dynamics and strategies right now.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hi Selffriend, I have a small question, why do you choose to talk about yoursel in the 3° person?, sometimes I find it kind of confusing.

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selffriend

@lucio Your friendly feedback is acknowledged.

Though I don't understand what do you mean by "they pull you back in".

Due to the request by Matthew, I am giving a new feedback on this new, unclarified, un-responded topic:

We should believe that everyone here has a good intention, rather than explicitly use offensive words and take the worst possible interpretation of anyone's intention.

My point is simple and still holds.

@Stef

Sorry for the confusion. I use third person for specific examples to indicate that I am talking about specific examples rather than going personal. In parallel with the "Selffriend example", I can provide more examples involving other individuals, if you are willing to see. I hope this clarifies my purpose.

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Quote from selffriend on May 1, 2021, 11:47 pm
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 1, 2021, 6:24 pm

One of my main challenges as a long-standing forum member is sometimes I would like to express my thoughts objectively without coming across as power-aligning with authority.

Hi Matthew,

If you like, could you please provide one example (or a hypothetical scenario) that someone's thought could not be expressed objectively because of the thoughts are not power-aligning with authority?

I am willing to learn more as I find your two helpful posts, along with this thread, are written in a very sophisticated and intelligent way.

When you ask a question and give a compliment afterwards, I have the uncomfortable feeling that I am accepting the compliment in exchange for answering the question.

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selffriend

Selffriend

Matthew

My feedback was unrequested. And, I usually stay out of feedback exchanges between other members.

But, I am offering my feedback because:

  1. I think it might help avoid a potentially long-winded debate
  2. I view both of you as my friends and I don't want to regret not having said anything when I could have

My View On the Interaction

1. Selffriend uses what feels like the judge role

Selffriend: (power-protecting: empowers Matthew to say "no") "If you like, (fields request) could you please provide one example (or a hypothetical scenario) that someone's thought could not be expressed objectively because of the thoughts are not power-aligning with authority? I am willing to learn more as I find your two helpful posts, along with this thread, are written in a very sophisticated and intelligent way."

When Selffriend said, "I am willing to learn more as I find your two helpful posts, along with this thread, are written in a very sophisticated and intelligent way," it felt to me like he was saying, "You've proven yourself to me, so you've earned the honor of answering my question." A "prove yourself to me" judge role.

Along with that, was the wording of saying, "I am willing to learn" as opposed to "I am willing to learn from you". The latter could've come across as flattery, but since it was left out, it makes it seem like he's saying, "I am willing to learn this because you've proven yourself to me. If you hadn't, I wouldn't be interested."

2. Matthew points it out

That "prove yourself to me" judge role frame can lead to "judge credit awarding" where Matthew does not gain gratitude or value in exchange for answering Selffriend's question, but instead receives the judge's happiness, approval, or another compliment.

My POV: Selffriend Had Good Intentions And Matthew Had A Good Response

The way we communicate—for example, how things are worded—is very important and, given that we're all learners here, it's something we all work on.

I truly believe that this situation did NOT need my feedback at all. Both Selffriend and Matthew are quite value-adding members of this forum who are more than capable of working out boundaries and clarifications themselves.

Here's why I offered my feedback anyway:

My Advice/Opinion: It's OK to Go Meta Along with Your Assertiveness

I could see a long-winded debate happening because we're learners. So, it can be difficult for us to learn what we did wrong if it's not fully explained. That's where, in my opinion, it might've helped if Matthew would have explained what exactly gave him the uncomfortable feeling he had.

That's on the going meta part. On the assertiveness part, Matthew forgot to use the "S" and "O" of the DESOE framework. And, while we're in a forum of people who are smart enough to where the "O" (outcome) is implied, specifying the behavior you'd like to see moving forward is key to drawing boundaries effectively and quickly in order to maintain positive sentence structure and preserve everyone's time.

For example:

Matthew: "When you ask a question and give a compliment afterwards, I have the uncomfortable feeling that I am accepting the compliment in exchange for answering the question. So, moving forward, I'd appreciate it if you simply asked me your questions with gratitude. If you do that, I think we'll get along better."

*Note: Here's a link to a good example of finishing the DESOE framework with "S" if you'd like a refresher, Matthew. This link was also unwarranted, but it seems relevant and I thought you might appreciate it given how helpful you found it before.

And, as far as how Selffriend could've fielded his request:

Selffriend(power-protecting: empowers Matthew to say "no") "If you like, (fields request) could you please provide one example (or a hypothetical scenario) that someone's thought could not be expressed objectively because of the thoughts are not power-aligning with authority? Your other two posts were very helpful for me, so I'm curious to learn more."

Or:

Selffriend(power-protecting: empowers Matthew to say "no") "If you like, (fields request) could you please provide one example (or a hypothetical scenario) that someone's thought could not be expressed objectively because of the thoughts are not power-aligning with authority? Your other two posts were helpful for me, so I'd be grateful if you could share more."

Final Thoughts

The feedback above was for both of you. I figured it would be OK for me to offer my thoughts this time due to it being a case where I have built a rapport with both of you. So, there's less of a chance of my feedback being interpreted negatively. That means a higher chance that my feedback helps to build everyone up, the goal of this forum and one of the goals of our friendships.

So, you can take this feedback negatively or you can take it positively. It's up to you.

*Note: I still have a lot to learn myself about feedback-giving, so I'll hang around this thread in case anyone has feedback for me on what I could've done better here, including anyone's opinion that I should've simply stayed out of it. Thanks for reading.

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Hi Ali,

Thank you so much for the feedback!
It warms my heart that you are willing to go the extra mile with the formatting and level of detail.
I could also certainly learn a few methods in the way you deliver feedback.

I do need more practice with the S (Specify) and O (Outcome) of the DESOE framework.
I usually use only the D (Describe) and E (Express).

The 3-Step, Robert Bolton Framework for Assertiveness

“When you [state the behavior nonjudgmentally], I feel [disclose your feelings] because [clarify the effect on your life].”

I tend to use the 3-step Robert Bolton format of assertiveness.
Sometimes I don't have a clear idea of how the behaviour should change and the outcome that it will have on the relationship.

In this situation, I think that specifying how a request could be made and the outcome achieved would have helped a lot.
And you helped me a lot with that.
Especially with the specific, concrete examples.

My Preference for Requests

Ali has helped me glean into the dynamics more.
It indeed felt like a judge dynamic.
I prefer requests to be made without any judge dynamic.

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Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 2, 2021, 9:49 am

 

Quote from selffriend on May 1, 2021, 11:47 pm
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 1, 2021, 6:24 pm

One of my main challenges as a long-standing forum member is sometimes I would like to express my thoughts objectively without coming across as power-aligning with authority.

Hi Matthew,

If you like, could you please provide one example (or a hypothetical scenario) that someone's thought could not be expressed objectively because of the thoughts are not power-aligning with authority?

I am willing to learn more as I find your two helpful posts, along with this thread, are written in a very sophisticated and intelligent way.

When you ask a question and give a compliment afterwards, I have the uncomfortable feeling that I am accepting the compliment in exchange for answering the question.

Hi Matthew and Ali. Thanks for those super-long comments. They are very helpful to me. I truly appreciate every detail in them and I am still disgusting them. Also sorry Matthew for my inappropriate word choice and sentence structure.

Let me clarify. My intentions were to give you a compliment and set a learner's frame for me. I was unaware that I set myself up as a judge.

I agree with you two.

To be honest, I am very surprise in a good way that changing the ordering of a sentence can entirely shift the frame from a learner and complimenter to a judge. It is good because I will watch out these kinds of mistakes in future. So again, the generous comments by both of you are truly helpful for my life.

My take away:

  1. "I am willing to learn" sounds too strong and judgmental. Use "I am curious" or "I am grateful if you could share"
  2. Put the question after any compliment
  3. Clarify that my compliment, respect, and gratitude are unconditional with other party's future actions

I must start to learn about the judge frame and DESOE

Once again I sincerely appreciate you, all of you here, for sharing the knowledge.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts selffriend :).
Always happy to see that we are on the same page after learning more about how we each communicate better.

I appreciate that you took the time to clarify and talk through with this with me, Ali & Lucio.
It will help us all to interact on the forum :).

If you would allow me to give my further perspective based on my observation of your interactions on this forum.
It may be very wrong, and this is all from my perspective.
Please feel free to disagree directly or give your own perspective.

My Personal Observations

Address the Main Issue Clearly & Directly

Sometimes I notice that you do not address the main issue that people bring up.
This seemed like the case in the recent interaction between you & Lucio.

Indirect & direct is a matter of preference.
In fact, sometimes I have a preference for being indirect.
Regardless of style, it's important to address the main issue.

From my understanding, Lucio enjoys direct communication.
He is also managing a lot of things on the website.
So this style saves a lot of time too.

As such, when you don't address the main issue, Lucio may not feel like engaging further.
The interaction may feel like an unproductive endeavour.

Vague Compliments May Seem Judgemental or Ingratiating, Especially for Confrontational Contexts

Sometimes the vague compliments may come off as judgemental or ingratiating.
Especially when we were discussing a more sensitive and confrontational issue.
That thread on how an admin should navigate communications was probably partially sparked from our recent discussions on this Feedbacks & Clarifications thread.

I think sometimes people give vague compliments because it's easier to type short compliments.
So understandably it's not always a power move.

Though this has happened several times on other threads.
People here on this forum may find it a bit off-putting.
Of course, I don't speak for everyone.
There's a possibility that people observe and don't say anything.

Front-Load Value When Making Requests

In my personal opinion, this is actually the core issue.
As long as you front-load a lot of value when making requests, the above 2 issues will seem more minor.
People naturally become more sceptical interacting with you when they don't see how they can get a fruitful discussion with you.

In the long run in this forum like in all social situations, people subconsciously or consciously have a feeling of who to interact with based on how much they get out of interacting with each person.

If you heard in economics, people vote for products & services with their wallets.
People only have so many votes in their wallets.

Likewise, in social situations, people only have so much time, attention, energy to devote to each individual.

In this particular thread when Lucio was gathering feedback about admin interventions & decisions, he was looking for input and feedback from others.
As such, it can feel like sort of hijacking the thread to ask a relatively broad question without first giving some inputs to address Lucio's main topic.
It could be better to open up another thread on this broad question where the conversation could go in many directions.

How Should You Take My Observations?

That's completely up to you :).
I want to re-iterate that my observations may be biased and inaccurate.
I may be completely off at times as people on this forum have pointed out to me at times.

My intention in providing this feedback is so that we can all interact on this forum in a smoother manner.
I welcome any direct feedback for the way I phrase my words or interact on this forum as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read my feedback too.

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