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Recurring no-value-adding questions in group chatrooms

Hello,

I see the following pattern in some group chatrooms, especially during the remote work era.

I see people asking recurring questions with little to almost no value offering.

Example:

What are you going to have for lunch?

My cynical side interprets this as:

This guy is now tasking 4-5 people to respond with various food names. I personally consider this to be very value taking.

I don't see any real value in knowing that they are going to eat chicken on beef or carbonara!

My personal strategy (thanks to PU) is to respond with low effort & ask a question back to the asker as a way of re-empowering myself.

I guess that these questions can be framed as a way to break the silence & opportunity to connect through foods we mutually like but at the moment it also feels like unnecessary tasking to me.

There is the option of not responding at all but i think it is dangerous because you can end up ostracizing yourself from the group.

What is your opinion regarding the power dynamics of this type of questions?

So for example, how does your answer look like?

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

If they dont mention what they are going to have for lunch, i usually respond with the name of my food & ask them back the same question.

Sometimes i dont give the name of my food (rejecting the tasking) & i say that it's better to not break their "party" if most of their foods are meat based and mine is vegetarian.

Well, there is more than one way to go about this one.

Let's see if anyone else wants to take a stab or share their thoughts, I'm curious to read.

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

I think your read of the situation is correct.

If you simply respond, you follow, and the person who asked gains some small leadership points.

You gain nothing, lose little, and waste some time.
No huge loss, but no buono either.

On the other hand, not answering can make you come across as confrontational or slightly antisocial.

Turning Into an Opportunity

But instead of defending and making the pie smaller, take the opportunity to make that pie larger.

Turn it around to gain social points, even to make it win-win.

Instead of not answering or answering and turning it back to him quickly, use the opportunity to run with it:

Him: What are you guys gonna eat
You: I got this awesome meal I'm looking forward to guys, I decided to try X this time that a friend of mine suggested and I'll let you know. What are you guys having
Him 2: Y
You: Y, nice!

Then cut it out and end it.

Because you expanded you look very social and then join him in the leadership -or, actually, become even more the charismatic leader-.

I wouldn't always talk about food though as you don't want a reputation for the food guy.

The other time you might say:

You: Nah, today quick instant meal as I have much to do. Make me jealous guys, what are you having?
(whatever they say)
Nice! Alright, gotta go, speak soon!

Then a third time you change the topic to something different than meal.

Or if you don't feel like, you don't answer at all maybe.

But because you've shown that you can be social and lead, you're good.

Makes sense?

Matthew Whitewood, Andrew.Hanson and XH have reacted to this post.
Matthew WhitewoodAndrew.HansonXH
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Yeah, it makes perfect sense, thank you Lucio!

 

I completely missed the fact that i was making the pie smaller by asking the same question back to only him instead of the whole group.

Also my one-word food answer (instead of expanding) could be seen as the "OK" after a request for tasking which is when the most power-loss happens.

Re-asking the whole group feels a lot more leader-like.

 

To be honest, im not sure at which point i was defending. By the way, that's a broader issue with me.

Im not good at identifying defensiveness and this is pretty bad according PU.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Defensive is not necessarily a line or an answer, but also a mindset.

Generally speaking, maybe we can say that one is defensive when he is overly concerned and focused about the possibility of losing, that he loses sight of the possibility of winning -or win-win-.

But still...

Quote from XH on October 25, 2021, 2:07 pm

Im not good at identifying defensiveness and this is pretty bad according PU.

Defensive is still a huge step forward from being disempowered :).

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