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"Thank you" against "Good job" power move

Hello guys,

I wondered how to deal with judge power moves such as "Good job". For example:

Me: The patient went home with such and such treatment

Nurse: Perfect!

Me: Very Good/Cool!/Nice!

This is not very efficient as the person has already delivered the "Good job!" judge power move. A more effective and more collaborative approach is:

Me: The patient went home with such and such treatment

Nurse: Perfect!

Me: Thank you/Thanks to you (delivered with a neutral tone or on the same tone as the "Perfect!" it was delivered)

Delivering it with a neutral tone is (as you Lucio said) what executive say to acknowledge one's work. However, it is delivered without any emotion, it's flat or on the same tone the "Perfect!" was delivered.

It's not "thanks for congratulating me on my job". It's more: "thanks for your job". This reverses the power dynamics in the right way (from leader to subordinate).

I learned this from my boss. Example (on the phone):

Me: I sent the patient the file

Boss: thank you!

Me: thank you too, see you tomorrow (on a deferent tone to acknowledge his supervision for the day)

Boss: thank you

Basically, the last person delivering the "thank you" is the one thanking for the job/task done.

He would always make sure to say the last "thank you" as he's very power aware.

I think it's more effective and more calibrated for most situations than "Very good". "Very good" works in other situations but is not as "bread-and-butter" as "thank you".

What do you guys think?

I'm still experimenting with this, so it does not belong yet in "proven techniques"

Cheers!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

This rings a bell, we had something similar, right?

Before delving into the details, I'd go first at the source:

Quote from John Freeman on May 8, 2022, 7:17 pm

Me: The patient went home with such and such treatment

Nurse: Perfect!

Me: Very Good/Cool!/Nice!

 

Is there a reason why you must provide that information?

Because when you do, you are putting yourself in a situation where you got that "very good" coming.

Generally speaking, the more details you add, the more it feels like you're looking for a pat in the back.

It's sometimes a good idea to add the details to your boss, especially when he doesn't see your good work, so that he can appreciate you are doing good work.
However, unless it's important that people know and/or if you know they're playing games, you can consider skipping.

Flying higher with collaborative frame

Another possible way of resolving that conflict is to deflect her own power move and turn it collaborative:

You: The patient went home with such and such treatment

Nurse: Perfect!

You: yeah, glad for him, we did a good job, cheers (keep on walking, back to work, or back to your laptop)

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

Yeah, agreeing or ignoring is my usual go-to.

I was at a doctor's appointment recently knowing that my blood sugar was more on the high side after eating a little too much birthday cake recently :).

In all likelihood, the doc was gonna ask me to get back on some meds to avoid the insulin.

So, when she walked in, she said:

Doctor: Hi, Ali.

Ali: Hello, Dr. C.

Doctor: Do you know what I'm going to tell you?

Ali: I don't like to make assumptions (smiles).

Doctor: Good (said as if judging my value as a good policy to have).

Ali: (ignores and waits for her to continue)

Doctor: So, we looked at your bloodwork...

In your case, I might've said something like:

You: The patient went home with such and such treatment.

Nurse: Perfect!

You: I agree, awesome, talk soon (leave)

Which, albeit similar, I like Lucio's response better because it feels more socially charming/collaborative with the "glad for him" and "we did well".

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman

Thank you very much, Lucio and Ali for your answers.

This rings a bell, we had something similar, right?

Yes, it is similar. In this post, I wanted to explore more specifically "the war of thank yous". As I'm practicing it, I noticed that the last one saying thank you is the most powerful.

Is there a reason why you must provide that information?

Sometimes they need to write notes. But most of the time there is no need and it took me some time to figure this out. Since they're power players, they take every opportunity to one-up people around them.

This is the 95% of the time what happens:

Nurse: Patient left?

Me: Yes

Her: Perfect!

So I avoid actively to inform them that he left and just wrote it in the computer (icon "patient left") which is fine with them.

Each time you tell them something they either go with: "Tell me" or "Perfect". Now I counter systematically "Tell me" with "Listen" as suggested here by a forum member and counter 90% of the time "Perfect". Sometimes I ignore it as it's not worth it.

I now understand why people are behaving like that. It's an attempt to feel powerful. They feel powerless and at the bottom of the hierarchy. So every opportunity they can put themselves higher than someone else, they will seize it.

Generally speaking, the more details you add, the more it feels like you're looking for a pat in the back.

Yes, I was a bit aware of this. However, your remark cement it in my mind.

However, unless it's important that people know and/or if you know they're playing games, you can consider skipping.

Gotcha.

Thanks a lot. I see that there was a desire for approval/external locus of control hidden somewhere in there. Also making myself smaller (submitting) when it was not necessary. And people took advantage of it.

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Lucio Buffalmano
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