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Ray Dalio beef with the WSJ: a terrible communication mistake

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In brief:

  1. The Wall Street Journal frames Ray Dalio has an autocrat in a rather negative article
  2. Ray Dalio replies with a lengthy rant defending himself and attacking the WSJ

I'm stunned at how such a smart man could make such a boneheaded communicational misstep.

ray dalio dressed as king

1. Dalio brings more attention to the initial article

First of all, lashing out against your critics is the typical mistake of bringing even more attention to the initial article.

And with that added attention, Ray Dalio's defending himself also comes across as childish and thin-skinned.
The more you read Dalio's answer, the more you want to read the initial article, and the more you will wonder if the WSJ's article was right.

2. By getting personal, he comes across as petty and hypocritical

Dalio even gets personal, writing:

This case is especially interesting because one of the writers—Rob Copeland—had previously interviewed at Bridgewater and wasn’t hired because he wasn’t up to doing the job.

"this case is especially interesting": Dalio tries to frame his reply as a "by the way". But it's a thinly (and badly) veiled attempt at hiding his personal rancor and thirst for vendetta.

Now what Dalio says might even be true. But it's still a mistake to say it. Him saying that, it feels like he's getting personal.
We expect better from our leaders.
And especially from Dalio who preaches personal enlightenment. Now he comes across as a hypocrite.

If Dalio still thought that was important to say, he should have framed it better, so it didn't look as petty.

3. Tries too hard to convince, feels like he's lying

And he writes:

As for The Wall Street Journal’s claim that I’m refusing to let go of control of Bridgewater, I can assure you that that is not true and that if it was true, I’d tell you it was true.

Another persuasion mistake: when you try too hard to convince people, people will always wonder why you are trying so hard. And they immediately think: maybe because they need lots of effort to hide the truth?

Maybe the WSJ hit on a raw nerve?

The reason why we need to trust him also reeks of narcissism. Basically what Dalio is saying is "you need to trust me because I say so, and if it weren't so, I'd tell you so".
So much for the man who prides himself of building systems that are independent of single individuals.

Frankly, I lost a lot of respect for Dalio.

4. Never pick a fight with those below you

And he missed a basic rule of power dynamics:

When you're on top and pick up a personal beef with those below you, you have little to gain and much to lose (and you almost always look bad)

From a power dynamics point of view, there is much to lose and little to gain in picking fights with those below you.

To talk in Dalio's parlance, it's a bad trade.

Maybe now that he is such a public figure Dalio should expand his knowledge of exchanges to also include social exchanges and social power dynamics?

5. A better approach: own up to it

At this point, I do believe that Ray Dalio is struggling to let go of control.

One, I believe so because of his reaction.
And two, because it's normal and expected.

But here is the most important thing: it's not a bad thing that Dalio is struggling to let go of control.
I'd struggle to let go of ThePowerMoves.com, too, and that's a good thing.

Ray Dalio would have come out of this much better if he had said:

Yes, I do struggle to let go of Bridgewater and that's how it should be. This is my life's work, and I LOVE what I do, and it's normal that I want to keep doing it. And I'm proud of it. And I want the same type of people around me: people who love what they do and, within the limits of common respect, fight for their ideas.
Our approach, together with system designed are then in place to make sure that the best ideas will win.

Ultimately, Ray Dalio fell prey of self-manipulation.
He wants to appear, to the world and to himself, as "nicer" than he really is.
He is not owning up to his shadow, to use Jung's words. Ralio Dalio is denying his own drive to power, which is exactly what brought him where he is.

With that denial, he looks incongruent and weak.

Own it up, Dalio, own it up.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

BTW, from a frame point of view:

Challenge the premise of the frame, or you fight on the enemy's soil

Dalio is accepting the premise that "letting go of power is good, wanting to have power is bad".

But who says that?

Why should it be a good thing for him to let go of his life's work and walk away?

And the more you think about it, the more you see that, logically, there is nothing inherently good of wanting to let go of power.
Especially when you're good at wielding that power.

That's what he should have challenged.
Instead, by remaining in the attacker's frame, he was fighting the wrong war. And he looked like a hypocrite.

 

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Good stuff, thanks!

Man, I must say, this is somewhat disappointing.

I've been following Ray Dalio's Principles Instagram account for well over a year. With all of the content he produces on emotional detachment for better decision making, I was under the impression that he was very emotionally intelligent in terms of being able to self-manage his emotions. Even if he is and Ray Dalio's response here is only a fluke (every dog has their day), it lowers my original impression of him.

This reminds me of a slip up in communication that Robert Kiyosaki made when he got emotional over the marching due to the passing of George Floyd:

Kiyosaki: WTF. Why do we worship felons, losers, weirdos & people without power or success? Why do we attack our police who protect us from the losers? Why do our gutless leaders kiss the losers' asses? The police should take a month off. Let losers and leaders kiss each other's asses. How to end inequality. Free college degrees. No test required. Free mansions. Free Ferrari's. Free healthcare. All police fired. Fed prints trillions so shoppers can shop till they drop. Free food. End taxes. Shut Washington down. The elites' dream of a utopia. My idea of hell.

If you've ever read Kiyosaki's book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, you'll know that it took him years of learning, hard work, and discipline to acquire the robust portfolio of assets that enables him to live the lifestyle he lives today. The portfolio of assets that establishes him as high-power in most rooms.

Kiyosaki views Floyd as someone who is both low-warmth and low-power. After fighting so hard for his wealth and status, it seems that Kiyosaki feels he has earned the right for people to care about his well-being because he fought to put himself in a high-warmth, high-power bracket position.

However, in this tweet, Kiyosaki seems to look down on Floyd because he did not have to fight for the wealth and status that Kiyosaki currently has, and yet, thousands upon thousands of people from numerous backgrounds were all marching for justice in his name. The Floyd family acquired massive status and attention seemingly overnight due to their heart-wrenching loss.

The untimely passing of George Floyd and the tragic way he met his end enabled him to receive the benefits of being in the high-warmth, high-power bracket without him having to put in the work that Kiyosaki did.

If I had to guess, I'd say Kiyosaki felt this was unfair which is what led him to take to the Twitter streets as emotionally as he did. Unfortunately, his poor communication caused him to voice his opinion in a way where the black community felt that Kiyosaki was standing with Trump against them.

As we know over here at The Power Moves, allies empower and enemies disempower. With only two tweets, Kiyosaki made a lot of enemies.

As a side note, to my knowledge, Kiyosaki has also refused to apologize.

Many years ago, Kevin Hart made a joke about smashing a dollhouse over his son's head if he ever caught him "doing anything gay".

He explained that it was only a joke, but people were unsatisfied with his explanation and wanted a full-on apology. He refused because he felt like he had already explained that it was a joke and people were taking this too seriously since he literally makes jokes for a living.

What Hart didn't understand at the time, was that this wasn't about his words only being a joke. It was about saying he doesn't condone gay violence. After coming to this realization, he immediately apologized.

Similarly, Kiyosaki refuses to apologize. I would say that this is because he feels that he has already explained that he doesn't approve of so much attention being given to someone he doesn't feel deserves it due to their low social standing in society.

What Kiyosaki doesn't yet understand, is that this isn't about the attention being given to George Floyd. It's about saying you don't condone black violence.

Hopefully, he'll recognize this and make a move. Not doing something, in this case, could not only damage his image but negatively taint the black community's perception of him to where they begin to feel as though Kiyosaki's family holds the same worldviews as he does. Not good from a social power point of view.

Quote from Ali Scarlett on August 3, 2020, 3:57 am

Man, I must say, this is somewhat disappointing.

I've been following Ray Dalio's Principles Instagram account for well over a year. With all of the content he produces on emotional detachment for better decision making, I was under the impression that he was very emotionally intelligent in terms of being able to self-manage his emotions. Even if he is and Ray Dalio's response here is only a fluke (every dog has their day), it lowers my original impression of him.

Exactly, it felt like he was not walking his talk.

Great analysis on Kiyosaki, Ali!
He also came across as elitist, cold-hearted, and like one of those nuts from this new alt-right.
His message feels like it's either you are powerful and rich, or we shouldn't give a f*ck about you. A poor message to send at pretty much any time, and twice as bad when the images of a man chocked while begging for his life were still vivid in everyone's mind.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Machiavelli is proud of you!

Hi guys,

I've been thinking about leaving this thread as is since I've already done the Robert Kiyosaki breakdown, but if any of you can get some value from this one as well I'm happy to share it.

Enter, Corey Wayne.

I got my hands on four of his audiobooks as free downloads that came with joining his email list. His work piqued my interest, so I went over to his YouTube Channel to see what else I could learn from him.

The second video I chose to watch was this one:

It's an interview between Corey Wayne, Dr. Dominick D’Anna (a friend of Corey's, on the far right), and Ashley Ayurveda (Dr. Dominick D’Anna's romantic partner, the girl in the center).

As the interview progress, it gradually becomes clearer how close Corey and Dr. D'Anna are as good friends. Corey then asks more and more questions to Ashley to give more insight to his audience on the female perspective of "why younger women date older men".

In the comment's section, a viewer named Omar makes a comment on this girl saying, "Seems like she needs a good dad not necessarily a boyfriend."

This comment can be seen as somewhat offensive considering this comment also implies that Corey's friend and the romantic partner of Corey's friend would be better off broken up. However, the way that Corey handles this comment, in my opinion, is less than ideal:

Corey: "You're just butt hurt a girl like her wouldn't be interested in you."

Now, considering that this is a channel that teaches dating and how to improve your romantic relationships, this can be a very hurtful thing to say to someone who follows and respects your work enough to subscribe to your channel.

Corey using the word "just" implies that he made this statement defensively which means he perceived Omar's comment as an attack and not an observation. Regardless of what the comment actually was, I didn't like the fact that Corey said on the audiobooks I received from him that he does his work for the veterans after reading this.

What if Omar is a veteran? Would that be any way to handle a situation with the very person you've made it apart of your purpose to help?

Despite some of the great content Corey has produced, he did lose some of my respect for this emotional response. Especially since it's clear from Omar's follow up replies that he views Corey as a mentor and is emotionally dependent on his approval.

When I was younger, I found myself at a place in life where I was completely alone. I became depressed and eventually suicidal because I felt like I was forced into isolation by my circumstances and missed out on getting a childhood due to having to grow up too fast to deal with my constant suicidal thoughts.

When I discovered Lucio's work here at The Power Moves, I immediately felt like I understood all of the mistakes I made that caused my relationship-building efforts to fail long-term. I realized that I wasn't forced into isolation by my circumstances, but by my own lack of emotional and social intelligence. With more work on myself and a better understanding of power dynamics, I began to see Lucio as a mentor only a month after finding his website and joining Power University.

I really can't imagine how heartbroken I would have felt if Lucio would have told me back then that I'm only butthurt because I could never achieve building the healthy relationships that I wanted in life back when I had no one.

I hope Corey finds his way to The Power Moves so he can become a more effective leader and use the judge role more responsibly :).

Great analysis, Ali!

Thank you for sharing, I'm gonna link to your post from the post on judge and judge frames, as he turned into a value-taking judge in that instance -ie. "you're not good enough"-.

I'd consider this an example of poor leadership as he didn't realize the influence he had on his followers.

Needless to say, my comment here does not imply criticism towards Wayne, and doesn't mean he's a bad person. We all make mistakes. I think it's possible that he mis-read the intent of his follower, thinking that he was attacking his friends, so he jumped in to defend his friends.

P.S.: to avoid falling into that trap, two options are:

  1. Match the tone of the first message (see: calibration with micro-aggressions)
  2. Decide to interpret grey-areas messages in the most well-meaning way instead of assuming bad intentions

 

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Decide to interpret grey-areas messages in the most well-meaning way instead of assuming bad intentions

This is great advice from a tactical point of view to avoid unnecesary conflict/escalations and for your peace of mind.

As long as it is a concious decision and not the result of being naive or too optimistic/generous about other people intentions, and as long as you are also aware of other possible meanings/interpretations and/or hidden agendas/vested interests, etc, and their implications, in the case the one you choose proves to be wrong by future developments, or investigations, espionage, data gathering and similar.

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