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I am pleased that you are pleased

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Ok, I take it that:

- when one directly gives something (a favor, work, thanks etc) and the other person thanks us generically in reply, no answer is advisable (there is an inherent balance already, so to say, and an answer could be perceived as a top-up or insecurity on our part);

- when one receives an incoming message of thanks, gratitude, compliments, without any previous direct prompt from us, an answer is mandatory, because not answering is going to be interpreted as indifference and snubbing (a bit like receiving a present and not calling to say thank you);

- when there is an imbalance between our previous giving and the subsequent compliment by the other person (such as, we provide something, and the answer is “thank you, your work is always perfect”), then there also is an imbalance (albeit smaller) that it is advisable to address by replying and acknowledging, to power-protect the other person. In fact, just now I understand you always do it on this very forum;

- not power-protecting the other person in situations 2 and 3 could be used if one wanted to drive away the other in a Machiavellian way, ie without doing anything (which is something I am guilty of unconsciously overdoing in my life, albeit in other situations I didn’t want to drive people away but just didn’t know better).

This is very useful. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate on my situation, as I had not yet understood this. (And I don’t really know how I could still be making so many mistakes. It’s going to be a pain to go through all those past emails. This is basically saving my life!).

Edit: this interacts with how to respond to power moves by the other person. More than once you commented on my posts that my non-replies to people who communicated with me was a mistake.

My non-replying was a tentative way to address what I perceived to be as power moves; but I now take it that in general it is better to reply, while addressing the power move in the reply, unless it is red level.

I thought non-replying communicated displeasure with their power moves, but I'm understanding the link has to be established by us in replying, otherwise all the other person will think is we don't want to have anything to do with them.

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KavalierMMC

Thank you very much for your enlightening replies guys!

As in “thank you so much for your guidance and support through all these years”.

Yes!

I was working in their department for 6 months and now I have 1 more letter to finish and I'm done with the work for them.

Lucio's answer (more of that coming) is really powerful as it is the words of a high performer. Only high performers speak like that. It's true it would be suited to an ongoing work relationship.

Kavalier is spot on. Language brings a slight nuance here. In French it was: "ça me fait plaisir qui tu sois satisfaite de mon travail". So it is more something like: "I'm happy that you are satisfied with my work". That's why I said it was bonding.

However, I get the power dynamics exposed by Lucio and would change it now to something like: a simple "Thank you! I'm happy that I improved".

I wanted to convey that I was happy that she validated my work as it was showing that I improved (she said it was perfect and there was nothing to change).

So I think I got a bit clumsy in my expression here.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMMC

Late to the party so ignore me if this is guilding the lily.

How about.  " Thank you it was all your help that got me there"

Power protecting and emphasising that you are there now a top performer.

 

 

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMMC

Ça me fait plaisir que tu sois satisfaite de mon travail was very bonding. It makes it very clear that she was the judge in the interaction. It gives all the power to her and this is not bad, I think.

If she's still someone who can advance your career and if you are indebted to her somehow, this is great.

Perhaps going higher power here wouldn't be the best choice, so I'd be more inclined to use your original response.

Bel's and Kevin's were great high warmth answers, just like yours. Lucio's was great for higher power while keeping some warmth.

Ultimately, I think it would all depend on what was needed from a strategic view point: higher power or higher warmth.

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Lucio BuffalmanoMMC

Bel, I might be wrong here, but I would actually err on the side of always replying. I believe you can't lose anything when a reply wasn't necessary (if anything, it sediments you as a cordial chap, so you actually gain especially in the eyes of people who watch the interaction), but you can lose a lot if someone expects an answer.

The most important thing would be to calibrate your reply (almost always must happen) to the input you received. If the input was rather cold, then a minimum threshold of politeness would be preferred. If it was rather warm, then it would be advisable to at least match the tone in warmth.

I like to be at least one marginal level of warmth/politeness above the individual I'm dealing with because I feel this is the only position you can be at in order to lead to win win (not easy, though. Most often I fall into the trap of thinking "just go fuck yourself and everyone else". But one day I'll measure up to my ideals lol)

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanMMCBel

Quote from Kavalier on June 30, 2022, 7:05 am

Bel, I might be wrong here, but I would actually err on the side of always replying. I believe you can't lose anything when a reply wasn't necessary (if anything, it sediments you as a cordial chap, so you actually gain especially in the eyes of people who watch the interaction), but you can lose a lot if someone expects an answer.

Thanks Kavalier, your point is very helpful.

From now on I’ll do exactly that and always reply.

Thank you John for opening this thread which was eye-opening for me.

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Kavalier

Deleted, I'll open new thread as my post was off topic.

Kavalier, your post is awesome. PU-worthy.

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KavalierBel

So here is a feed-back to Kavalier:

I started to do answer to all emails this week and the results speak for themselves: I think my boss trusts me more.

Also, there are dieticians to whom I ask consults. Last week they were giving me feed-back of them having summoned the patient to their consult after 1-2 weeks. Since I started to say "thanks!", I get an answer in under an hour.

So it does work. I think it's a good rule of thumb to always answer. It shows professionalism and dedication. If it's too much, the person will tell you.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMMCBel

I am also starting to see results similar to John’s.

It’s just mind blowing to realize this simple (but to me totally unknown) thing could have helped so much during those difficult years in my job, and then in growing my practice and keeping friends.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierMMC
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