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Hey Ali,

I think since it involves both you and I, it's normal that some people may be more hesitant to give a (no-holds-barred) feedback (albeit I wish it weren't so and I may have missed much good feedback because of it, being the forum on TPM and me still being the only admin does affect the dynamics a bit).

So here's my feedback on this:

Quote from Ali Scarlett on July 25, 2022, 9:29 pm

#1. Accidental "you are" judge role

The context is that, rather than leave the final page in the book blank, I drafted a request for a review from the reader.

However, even though the writing was my responsibility because Lucio is booked up with a full plate, he was still kind enough to make the time to make edits and revisions to that "review ask" page.

And, when I read it back over, I agreed with all of his changes, feeling like once again, I still have a lot to learn from him.

So, I added that note emotionally from a place of looking up to him.

But, without the "thank you", it may have come across socially as a position of looking down on him:

  • "'re the true persuasion expert...": might communicates, "I have the authority to judge whether or not I consider you an expert or inadequate at persuasion, and I've decided you're worthy of my positive judgment."

With that said, I think that saying, "'re the true persuasion expert..." maybe saves it a bit because it communicates what I was hoping to get across which is, "out of the two of us, you're better than me :)" (as opposed to if I would've said "you're a persuasion expert" which comes across more power gamey).

Still, a better approach might've been to say:

Ali: Got it, thank you, you're the true persuasion expert, so I'll leave that to you 🙂

The gratitude turns the "well done" judge role into a "thank you" judge role.

You know what's funny, without remembering those exact lines, in the beginning I thought it was me who said "you're the true... ", and I wanted to agree with you and say "yeah, my original intent was to make a compliment, but that came out with a bit of a judge frame indeed, my bad".

But when I realized it was you, I then thought "not really, totally fine".

So while I'd have been ready to provide an apology, I also didn't want an apology if things were inverted.

In part, it's because different people saying the same thing still carry different dynamics.
But in part I think it's because I want to make extra sure not to disempower those I'm close with and want to stay in good terms with.
So sometimes it's just smoother to just say "my bad" if the other person thought it was not cool, rather than say "right, but I don't think it was a big deal", since the latter may make people think you don't want to admit fault and/or you don't want to re-empower them (of course you don't want to overdo it if it happens often or you may leave communication gaps unaddressed, but if it happens rarely, then the early "my bad" can make it all smoother).
This may be an important concept and strategic approach actually: in some -some!- cases such as a misunderstanding, taking more blame than you think may be warranted can actually help you keep relationships win-win, and better for all.

Otherwise, while I still can say "it was totally Ok", if we wanted to go really deep and detailed, your analysis is good.
Also, in some cases (not this one), that form sometimes can feel like:

  1. flattering
  2. frenemies - within them they feel "lower down" and resent it, and let it out with what feels like a mix of exaggeration, but without truly meaning it with a good heart
  3. One-up compliment - similar to the judge role, when delivered with high dominance. The speaker exaggerates the compliment on purpose to make it seem inauthentic -a covert power move, the sub-communication is "I don't really mean it, you're just OK and I'm teasing you because I can"
  4. rapport-break: even if they sometimes mean it, it can push the receiver so high-up that it ends still as a rapport break -remember the thread on "you're special / different" ? Same dynamics

Overall, it's the feel of "exaggeration" that makes it a bit "off" and may lead to a misunderstanding.

But, again, we're splitting hair and talking about how it may sound in some different cases.
Within our context, it was OK.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on July 25, 2022, 9:29 pm


#2. Missed opportunity for more honesty

In this case, I was looking for an update on which of the book covers we had designed was performing the best (we were testing which would get the highest conversions).

But, I didn't mention that I was looking for an update, I only mentioned that the book cover design team was, which felt disingenuous to me (and, potentially sneaky, since it would've cost me nothing to reveal that I was also interested in the latest results).

So, better, might've been if I'd said:

Ali: Hey Lucio, what's the data for the book covers looking like so far? The cover design team is getting curious (and so am I 🙂 )


Yeah, albeit again it was "absolutely no biggie", I agree with you: whenever you can be honest -which is probably the vast majority of times-, it's usually better to say the full story, in full honesty (which is why I'm more and more convinced that "be as honest as possible, as often as possible" should probably be one of the addition high-level strategies).

Incidentally, it's what I also thought here, and made sure to add it:

I originally presented the idea with a "WIIFY", but then realized that the approach was probably overly downplaying the what's in it for me, which is not very "fair value marketing" but more (social-exchange) manipulative.

So I added that "I could use one as well" to highlight I was also getting plenty of value.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on July 25, 2022, 9:29 pm


#3. Missed opportunity for more positive framing

When I said, " marketing isn't one of my strengths yet," my aim was, to be honest about my lack of proficiency in that area as well as humble.

I believe it was great for my character as well as the project.

On the project, demonstrating an honest self-awareness of my shortcomings could lead to a better outcome for the email marketing since that honesty could nudge Lucio to avoid over-relying on my feedback when he might know better than I do on certain things. (It's better if someone says they can't do something than if they lie that they can, produce poor results, and then the other party accepts it trusting that the incompetent liar knows what they're talking about.)

Granted, Lucio is the kind of guy to think for himself and challenge any ideas he disagrees with or simply ask for further explanation where it could shed some light (or expose a potentially bad idea). Even so, generally speaking, I'm of the philosophy that honesty is the best policy.

So, with that said, my honesty could've been framed with a more positive sentence structure.

With my current framing, there's an issue of the exchange now looking win-lose.

  • "I'll share it [the email] with you for marketing isn't one of my strengths yet": Lucio already said that he would share the draft for feedback, so now he may feel that changing his mind is "going back on his word", and must share this document to get feedback that may be useless (which costs him time and effort).

Granted, Lucio might've probably overlooked my comment because of the feedback I've given before in TPM's marketing threads. And, in going this route anyway, incompetent or not, he would still be making sure he didn't miss any potentially valuable thoughts I had to share.

However, if this were a public conversation, I don't think it would look good on Lucio to ask someone for help and then for that person to turn around and say, "Actually, I'm not very good at helping," because for Lucio to still accept that help would be disempowering for him on top of being (potentially) bad for the relationship.

So, a better response might've been something like this:

Ali: OK, sounds good (still learning more about good email marketing practices, but happy to take a look, share my thoughts, and exchange ideas from there)

If you guys have any thoughts, happy to read.

And, if you see any other areas for feedback, Lucio, happy to read that as well.

Yes, agreed, albeit (again 🙂 ), it was overall OK, putting it on the positive would have been a good move.

Ali Scarlett, Kavalier and leaderoffun have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettKavalierleaderoffun
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hello @s-p

An advice for you on how to maximize the value from the forum:

Ditch the more amoral and more cunning parts on that thread as those eventually become clear over time, but the "timing your posts" is a really good one.

In the specific, I'd recommend not opening more than 1 question-based topic per day. Otherwise, contributors can feel overwhelmed, and give you fewer answers and insights than you might otherwise get.
Also, keep in mind the social exchange of answers/questions: questions are requests for value. Too many questions with not enough contributions can (subconsciously) frame one as a taker.

The same dynamics apply in real life, of course -so, for example, if you get a mentor among those higher ups as I think you will :), make sure the exchange is balanced somehow-.

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

Lucio and Ali

I read that exchange but I didn't chip in because, for me, it was more of a matter of "watch and learn". There was a lot of advanced stuff going on there. And thank you both for the opportunity!

Lucio Buffalmano and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBel

Hello, community

I'd like to praise Lucio for something very powerful I've seen him in the forum: he's always backing other people up. And I wanted to express my gratitude for what it taught me.

I've never seen Lucio trying to dissuade anyone from doing anything. No matter how small the chances of success, no matter how big the risks, Lucio's posture is always "Well, these are the risks. But if you choose to go for it, you can succeed. So here's my take on how you could do it, if you choose to go this way".

This is in stark contrast to what I've always done: "no man, the risks outweigh the benefits and it's not worth it, because of X Y Z". Despite coming from a genuine place of worry (and a personal preference that I inadvertently push other people into: I only take calculated risks), it disempowers the individuals I'm talking to, because this is what it does:

  • It's a negative judge role
  • It makes little of their frame
  • It doesn't respect their power to decide
  • It's an indirect way of saying "you are dumb, I'm smart"

It forces a disconnection and it's a dead end:

  • If the person doesn't go for it, they'll resent it because I didn't come from a place of respect
  • If they go for it and fail, my frame will be "well, I told you". And even if it's not, they will assume it is. And they will resent it. Nobody wants to be around someone that makes them feel bad or prove they're wrong
  • If they succeed, I am the one that end up disempowered: now they are smart, I am dumb

But Lucio will empower people to make their own decisions, and he'll respect them for taking those risks. And he'll equally respect people for deciding not to go for it. If they succeed, they can cheer together. If they fail, they can lament together.

And it's from this togetherness that comes true social power. Purely individual power is an illusion: at best, it's short lived. People empower themselves in communion.

Thank you, Lucio! It's always a different lesson I learn from you.

Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanAlexBel

Great analysis, Kavalier, and thank you for much for the kind note.

And yes, I agree with you: generally speaking, when people are unsure or come to you with a dilemma, it's a great approach to list pros and cons, potentially nudge towards your preference, but then make people feel welcome to go either way, without being judged if they decide towards either a "yes' or "no".

And generally speaking, as a big rule of thumb, whenever it's a grey area and you can't tell what's best but the risks of failure aren't life-threateing, I tend to nudge people towards action, rather than inaction.
With the frame always being "you may fail, but you tried it, and you'll learn", so that even if failure ensues, the frame is "respect for having tried, lesson learned, keep up that enterprising spirit and you'll succeed".

For example, in John's diary case, I'd have rated the odds of him ousting the biased big boss quite low.
BUT he'd have learned hugely just for trying -and especially with the proposed tweaks, the risks wouldn't have been career-derailing-.

Kavalier and Bel have reacted to this post.
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I see this now, great post Kavalier!

@lucio: I haven't given up on ousting him, just taken a different route! Your advice helped me to weigh the risk better. He can derail my career, unfortunately. 🙁

More context: he's the kind of people that if he does not want you to work in pediatrics in hospitals in French speaking Switzerland he can do it. He's actually head of one of these hospitals. So he's one of the most powerful person in my field in my region of 2 million people. So if I want to work in hospitals I must not make an enemy out of him. At least not openly. I could change and go somewhere else though.

It's too soon and I'm still going to fight him. It's worth it. I need to be more careful with the timing and approach though. It's a 1 year project thing. I am excited by the idea and the learning opportunity and I need to work in the shadows. I'll let you know!

Lucio Buffalmano and Kavalier have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalier

Actually I came here for a friendly feedback for @transitioned.

I see you wrote 2 threads. As I think I told you in the past I want to contribute. However it's very difficult for me to read and understand. So my friendly feed-back is that if you want more people to answer to your questions, I would recommend to make it easy for them.

Many people are not familiar with professional slang or abbreviations or expressions or certain phrasing. Once again, I think you would be having more answers to your threads if you would make it easy for people to understand the situation and the question. Of course, everybody has their own writing style.

I hope you will read the above as I intended: from a mate to a mate.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Thanks John

Sounds like I m operating from a bad assumption.  I try to be concise because I think people are more likely to read.  But there's too much implied meaning which people from a different background won't have a dictionary for.  I ll give more context in future.


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

I agree with you. I’m glad my comment makes sense to you. Thanks for considering my perspective! 🙂

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Lucio BuffalmanoTransitioned


"Leftist" label

Hello Kavalier,

First, thank you for your answer in the other thread.

I want to start a conversation with you around the "leftist label" and learn more.

I don't understand why you reacted this way. It seems that it angered you. Could you please explain to me what happened?

I want also to take this opportunity for a friendly feed-back:

It's a very small one, but you want to be careful with unintended social climbing).

It sounds to me like a threat: "be careful or..." as in "Be careful not to social climb on me, even if unintended or...". I think it can make the other person angry as a reaction and start an escalation. I'm not angry at all BTW. However, it can have this effect on people.

I understand that what I said sounded to you like social climbing, but in what way?

My understanding is that you heard that what I was saying had a frame of: "I'm better than them." Is that correct?

Once I understand better your point of view, of course I'll go deeper into mine!

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