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Frame control: The "Normalization Disagreement" ("I wish it was")

 

Franzese: Okay, well the guy is not a safe cracker. He's never done anything like this in his life, but he's gonna go in there and he's gonna crack a sophisticated safe. No, that's not happening...you're not gonna tell a guy cold to go in and crack a safe, not gonna happen. Picking a lock, very difficult...you can't just walk in there cold and pick a lock. I wish it was that easy, we would've been a lot wealthier.

Disagreeing meaning you're giving a "no", and this frame control technique is quite similar to the replace "no" with "I wish I could" in your answers.

What makes this technique effective, in my opinion, is that it mixes that rapport-preserving technique of "I wish" with the normalization technique of "it's OK".

In this case, the developers of the Mafia 2 game wanted to know how accurate ex-mafia boss Michael Franzese thought their game was. If Franzese contradicted their decisions overly dominantly, it's expected that they might resist his feedback and hide (or, more realistically, not invite him back on the show again for more of his feedback).

So, when disagreeing, along with using "I wish", Franzese normalized the decisions of the developers in order to increase the chances that his feedback would be delivered smoothly.

How he did it was by saying, "It’s OK, it’s natural to want, nothing to be ashamed of, we all want it and I want it too (or, since this was past-tense, we all wanted it to be that way and I wanted it that way as well)."

P.S.:

Notice the "we would've been a lot wealthier", which thread-expands on how normal their decision was by highlighting the benefit he would've gotten from their decision.

If he would've left that out, it could have led the receivers of his feedback to feel like he was being tough on people and not on ideas here.

*Note: This is purposely left out of the "techniques" section of the forum because it's unofficial and open to any feedback.

Good analysis, Ali.

I'm thinking whether this could make it into its own discrete category.

There is overlap with "collaborative frames" and "power protecting".

When it comes to names, "normalizing" makes me think more of someone sharing something difficult, or something that he's ashamed of.
Then you could "normalize" his experience sharing something similar, or saying that "it actually happens often". That way, he feels "normal" again.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 5, 2021, 9:20 am

When it comes to names, "normalizing" makes me think more of someone sharing something difficult, or something that he's ashamed of.
Then you could "normalize" his experience sharing something similar, or saying that "it actually happens often". That way, he feels "normal" again.

Yea, I noticed that in PU's relationship module. And, that's where I got the idea for the name because I think that limiting it's application to only "dark motives" feels like putting a limit on the "normalizing" term's potential as a whole.

As you said, "normalizing" can be in reference to one sharing something difficult. That "something" could also be their viewpoints or perspectives on a topic (in the example above, the developers shared their perspective on historical mafia activity).

And, normalizing could be a tool used to "normalize" their frames and beliefs so they feel more comfortable, avoid losing power, and avoid a competitive frame.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 5, 2021, 9:20 am

I'm thinking whether this could make it into its own discrete category.

Not quite sure what you mean by "discrete category", what did you have in mind?

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