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Getting Made Fun Of While Recording a Video

Today, we were recording a video for a pitch.
We needed to convey the right emotions.
So it was kind of like acting.

Everyone had difficulty coming across the right way and conveying the right emotion.
The video initially was pretty dry.

I shared some personal stories to get into the right emotion.
I exaggerated some emotions to get into the mood for the recording.
Because it really helps to get into the right emotion to convey frustration or happiness for example.

The issue was that it does not come across as professional.
It may seem a bit clownish.
And one person in the team made fun of me for that.
He said that it was silly and even wanted to say it's stupid but hesitated to comment on that.

Him: I want to say the word conveys silly. And, in this country, we may use idiot but it conveys the wrong meaning in English.

Was it a bad decision to try to get into the mood for conveying the right emotion in the video recording?
I did not want the video to be dry.
I also exaggerate my emotions during presentation rehearsals to get into the right mood as well.
But usually, I do it alone.

Update

I called the person and told him that I felt uncomfortable about the comments.

I'm not sure if I handled the assertion in the best manner.

Me: I'm okay with joking around and do enjoy it sometimes.
I feel that sometimes it crosses the line from joking around to aggressive humour.
I wanted to express that I felt uncomfortable with some of the comments.

I'm not sure if his response is good:

Him: I apologise if the comments made you feel uncomfortable.
I respect the boundary.
I think respect among partners is very important.
Thank you for expressing that to me.

For me, I'm okay with this humour in our culture.
We say it among friends.
I get that you may not resonate with the humour.

I feel that he acknowledges my boundary, but, at the same time, implies that he has the power to make me feel uncomfortable.

He followed up with

Him: Hey man, wanted to apologize again for any remark I made. It was all in jest. Hope you understand

Do you think that this exchange went well?

Hi, Matthew! Hope everything's good with you mate :).

I think that regardless of whether it was a good or bad decision to get into the right mood, that doesn't give others the right to engage in disrespectful communication by making fun of you. That's where the social power mindset, "I am worthy of fair treatment and respectful communication," might come into play. (BTW, for more feedback, you can ask John about that. He's really great with assertiveness.)

So, by you asking this question, it seems like you took their negative reaction to your acting preparation as social proof that it was a bad idea to prepare your emotions at all.

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. That's why I'm mentioning the social power mindset above. In my experience, remembering that mindset has empowered me to use frame control to turn their negatives into positives even if only to ensure respectful communication now and in the future.

For example:

Matthew: (begins preparing emotions with personal stories)

Them: That's silly man. (frame: what you're doing is unprofessional)

Matthew: Some might think so (agrees to keep rapport), I find it helps convey the right emotions for these projects (communicates: "my goal is to do things right") which usually raises the quality in the end (communicates: "our 'professional' goal here is still the same—to create work high-quality enough to gets results"). What's your method for getting into the right emotions (sets collaborative frame by inviting feedback)?

If you notice, the response is only two sentences. So, it's a pretty low-effort way of turning their negative into a positive.

And, the final sentence that invites their feedback continues along the implied frame of "getting into the right emotions is important if we want positive results on this project".

So, one option for them is they can be silent. Another is they can stammer that they have no process (hence why they're making dry videos). Or, they can contradict you and say that's not important (which would be rude, rapport-breaking, and can be dealt with accordingly using what we know here). And, at best, they can offer their own process for getting into the right emotions which might elevate everyone.

But, it all starts with refusing to accept that kind of behavior. If you're not going around making fun of others for their methods of preparation, Matthew, it doesn't sound fair for them to make fun of you.

All that being said, it may be best in the future if you go back to doing it alone. It's a question of whether or not it's worth creating trouble for yourself if the unstated frame is already set throughout everyone that it's unprofessional.

Instead of going around dealing with everyone's frames, you could work in silence on your own and bring the most high-quality work you can to the table.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

BASED ON THE UPDATE

Looks like I posted before you made the update. Here are my thoughts:

Calling him back and letting him know how you felt is honest and follow the social power mindset I mentioned above. Great for making sure you don't wind up becoming passive-aggressive toward him.

As far as the actual phone exchange, I'm a little outside of my comfort zone since we're talking about workplace power dynamics which can be a little different. But, I think we can agree it's all rooted in the basics and fundamentals:

Matthew: I'm okay with joking around and do enjoy it sometimes (clarifies that it's only this one instance you want to draw boundaries on). I feel that sometimes ("sometimes" communicates this has happened in the past before where you didn't say anything) it crosses the line from joking around to aggressive humour. I wanted to express that I felt uncomfortable with some of the comments (leaves open-ended to invite the other side's thoughts).

Overall, I really like it.

I especially loved how you said "aggressive humor". It felt like a great way of calling out what he did as value-taking without using heavier words like "rude" or "mean". You help him save face as someone who has good intentions by accepting the frame that it was, in fact, a joke. Yet, it was of an aggressive kind. And, that communicates back to your point: "go back to the non-aggressive kinds of humor you do, and we'll be all good because I'm OK with joking around and I do enjoy it sometimes".

If we're talking about the "DESOE" assertiveness framework, one typically wouldn't leave it open-ended to invite feedback from the other side because you're drawing your boundaries. And, no amount of "feedback" could get you to toss away your boundaries in most situations for most people :).

So, maybe you can leverage the "DESOE" framework a little more here, saying things like:

  • "When you called my preparation 'silly'" (D: Describe)
  • "It felt disrespectful" (E: Express)
  • "Please be a little more open to my methods of preparation" (S: Specify)
  • "And I think we'll have a better working relationship" (O: Outcome)

That might be a little more direct.

BUT, it does seem like this person jokes and teases often. It doesn't seem like they were really "out to push you down", so I really like your approach and, personally, wouldn't change much if anything. I'm only listing the DESOE framework here for your reference as food for thought.

Thanks a lot man Ali!
Hope you are doing well too.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 2, 2021, 2:27 pm

I think that regardless of whether it was a good or bad decision to get into the right mood, that doesn't give others the right to engage in disrespectful communication by making fun of you. That's where the social power mindset, "I am worthy of fair treatment and respectful communication," might come into play. (BTW, for more feedback, you can ask John about that. He's really great with assertiveness.)

Thanks for reminding me about this core mindset.
I felt a bit caught off-guard on the spot.
Focusing on getting the work done and asserting myself on the spot at the same time seem quite challenging.
I do think it's an important skill as I often need to work with people on the spot to get things done.

I did raise this up to the individual afterwards because I wasn't sure about how to deal with it on the spot and wanted to focus on finishing the video.
I think at least he acknowledged my boundary.
However, he didn't think that he was out of line, which might be his way of keeping power.

So, by you asking this question, it seems like you took their negative reaction to your acting preparation as social proof that it was a bad idea to prepare your emotions at all.

I find my preparation methods quite effective so probably won't be stopping anytime soon.
I was uncomfortable with their reactions though.

All that being said, it may be best in the future if you go back to doing it alone. It's a question of whether or not it's worth creating trouble for yourself if the unstated frame is already set throughout everyone that it's unprofessional.

Instead of going around dealing with everyone's frames, you could work in silence on your own and bring the most high-quality work you can to the table.

This sounds like a good idea.
If I am bringing the most high-quality work to the table, then I could share with them the best practices to convey the right emotion.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 2, 2021, 2:27 pm

Matthew(begins preparing emotions with personal stories)

Them: That's silly man. (frame: what you're doing is unprofessional)

Matthew: Some might think so (agrees to keep rapport), I find it helps convey the right emotions for these projects (communicates: "my goal is to do things right") which usually raises the quality in the end (communicates: "our 'professional' goal here is still the same—to create work high-quality enough to gets results"). What's your method for getting into the right emotions (sets collaborative frame by inviting feedback)?

Thanks for this solid suggestion.
Though I did not say it as well as you have put it.
But I did convey something along the lines that it is a good way to convey the right emotions and tone.
I said something like

Them: That's silly man. (frame: what you're doing is unprofessional)

Me: Recalling past memories is a solid way to seem more genuine in your emotions.
It may seem silly but I want to come across as sincere.

In business settings, I should focus more on the results and competency.
As you have stated, talk about the objective of conveying the emotions well and making good quality videos.

We do seem to be posting out of sync a little bit :).
Happens to me quite often.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on March 2, 2021, 2:51 pm

BASED ON THE UPDATE

BUT, it does seem like this person jokes and teases often. It doesn't seem like they were really "out to push you down", so I really like your approach and, personally, wouldn't change much if anything. I'm only listing the DESOE framework here for your reference as food for thought.

Thanks for the DESOE framework :)!
Always good to have this framework in mind.

It was a 5-minute conversation.
I did throw in a comment like

I prefer for these comments to not be said in the future.

I think your DESOE comments are effective at specifying how I would like to work together with them respectfully.
It conveys the business objective of being more open towards my methods and achieving the objective.

Choice of Words

I especially loved how you said "aggressive humor". It felt like a great way of calling out what he did as value-taking without using heavier words like "rude" or "mean". You help him save face as someone who has good intentions by accepting the frame that it was, in fact, a joke. Yet, it was of an aggressive kind. And, that communicates back to your point: "go back to the non-aggressive kinds of humor you do, and we'll be all good because I'm OK with joking around and I do enjoy it sometimes".

Thanks for the feedback on this!
Sometimes it's hard to know whether an assertion is phrased in the best manner.
Good to know that using aggressive humour is a good choice.

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett

Glad you got value from some of my comments :).

I think now that we're a bit more in sync I can offer some feedback on his response over the phone:

Him: I apologise if the comments made you feel uncomfortable. I respect the boundary. I think respect among partners is very important. Thank you for expressing that to me (shows gratitude for your decision to be honest about your feelings instead of passive-agressive). For me, I'm okay with this humour in our culture (provides context for his behavior to further show there was no harm meant). We say it among friends (thread-expands on context). I get that you may not resonate with the humour.

The "I apologize if the comments made you feel uncomfortable" is not a covert power move in my opinion. And, that's because there's nothing really "covert" about it. Lucio helped me understand this when I provided this example:

Let's say you're in a doctor's office waiting for your appointment alongside a group of others who are also waiting. Then, the doctor comes out and says "We apologize for making you wait". That communicates: we have the power to make you wait. But, it's not a covert power move because everybody already knows that. So, there's nothing "covert" or hidden about it.

When you were assertive and said, "I wanted to express that I felt uncomfortable with some of the comments," you actually made it known that he has the power to make you feel uncomfortable. So, it's no longer a "covert" power move if he decides to apologize for that.

And, that's where the DESOE framework can also come in handy. If you would have instead said you "felt the comments were disrespectful", it would be a bit strange if he responded with, "I apologize if the comments made you feel disrespected." More natural and common would be, "Sorry if I offended you."

And, I think it's OK to be honest and admit to having been offended about another person's behavior it helps you draw a line in the sand with that person.

Then, he talks a bit about how that style of humor comes from his culture and is common to be used among friends. I thought it was good as a way of helping to smooth things over.

What irked me was the "I get that you may not resonate with the humor."

What does that mean? Are you saying you won't do it again or that it's OK in your culture so it's OK to continue doing it?

It makes it seem like the context about his culture wasn't to smooth things over, but to justify why that style of humor is actually OK (and, why it also should be OK with you). Hence, why he follows up with another apology to make sure his message isn't misinterpreted:

Him: Hey man, wanted to apologize again for any remark I made. It was all in jest. Hope you understand

And, that's where we finally get some confirmation that it won't happen again.

Using the "S" (specify) in the DESOE framework would have specified the behavior you expect in the future and might have helped to avoid that last part.

Matthew,

I would have been more specific with what exactly you didn't like.

When you say:

I feel that sometimes it crosses the line from joking around to aggressive humour.
I wanted to express that I felt uncomfortable with some of the comments.

What is the receiver supposed to make with that?

You can also see in his replies:

Him: I apologise if the comments made you feel uncomfortable.

And:

Him: Hey man, wanted to apologize again for any remark I made. It was all in jest. Hope you understand

Any remark?
He doesn't need to apologize for any remark, he needs to apologize for the specific acts that were not cool -either the making fun, and/or the "idiot" part-.

Let's take as an example you were uncomfortable with the derisive tone:

You: Hey man, we need strong feedback here to make this promotional video right, and I appreciate you being honest about it. At the same time, I feel like when you laugh and say it's silly, it's more about laughing at me, rather than how to make this project good.

Then you can go into some emotional power move:

You: I tried my best at this video to convey strong emotions. I'm not an actor and as I try my best, it's possible that I suck. And maybe I did. Please do share if you think the video sucks. What I'm not cool with is making fun of ourselves. That doesn't help us in any way, and it felt aggressive to me.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks Ali and Lucio.

I would have been more specific with what exactly you didn't like.

I see what you mean.
In this instance, I found it challenging to pin down the specific acts.
I decided to focus on finishing the video and had trouble remembering exactly what acts were uncomfortable.

I drew some quick line in the sands in real time but did not work.
As such, I decided to leave the assertion till after the work was been completed.

I made a quick statement after his derisive comment by saying

That felt condescending to me.

That did not really have any effect.
He continued to be a bit derisive, but we quickly moved on to work on the video.

Being Descriptively Precise in Assertions

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on March 2, 2021, 4:34 pm

Any remark?
He doesn't need to apologize for any remark, he needs to apologize for the specific acts that were not cool -either the making fun, and/or the "idiot" part-.

Let's take as an example you were uncomfortable with the derisive tone:

You: Hey man, we need strong feedback here to make this promotional video right, and I appreciate you being honest about it. At the same time, I feel like when you laugh and say it's silly, it's more about laughing at me, rather than how to make this project good.

Then you can go into some emotional power move:

You: I tried my best at this video to convey strong emotions. I'm not an actor and as I try my best, it's possible that I suck. And maybe I did. Please do share if you think the video sucks. What I'm not cool with is making fun of ourselves. That doesn't help us in any way, and it felt aggressive to me.

Thanks Lucio, I probably need more practice with DESOE as Ali suggested as well.
These detailed responses may take me some time to draft out, especially when I'm a bit stunned and have to focus on multiple things.
Getting into more practice would help a lot.

The overall gist is to convey that feedback is okay, but making derogatory remarks or derisive tones is not okay.
This sounds like a good framework to use in business when drawing boundaries on slightly aggressive work-related comments.

Would He Not Know Which Remarks Stepped Over the Line?

I was thinking further about this issue.
I assumed on some level that he would know which comments stepped over the line.
As such, I could be vaguer about it.

On the other hand, I think it's always best to communicate clearly as that demonstrates good communication skills.
It also lets the other person less room to repeat the specific instances that make me feel uncomfortable.

Or it could be the case where some people have a habit of making this type of comments.
As such, they don't really think twice and remember when they make such remarks.

Yes Matthew, the overall message I didn't include is:

You already did great in saying it, and enforcing the boundary.

That's the 80% already there.

The overall gist is to convey that feedback is okay, but making derogatory remarks or derisive tones is not okay.

Exactly.

 

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks for the further feedback!

Hmm I'm thinking about how to get better with precision in describing power dynamics.
Or describing in greater detail what I'm uncomfortable with.
Maybe that's a topic for another thread.
I think that by continuously analysing on this forum, it helps me to work on my descriptive skills in power dynamics.