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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I wonder if directness is related to a person's ability to pick up on hints, innuendos, and reading between the lines. Think about alternate versions of each scenario as well, i.e. being perceived as bossy, authoritarian, micromanaging, passive, etc.
    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the paranoid, everything seems indirect and to those who can't see past their nose on their face, everything seems literal. Those are two extremes, but everyone falls somewhere on that spectrum.

    Also, this ties into calling people passive-aggressive as well. I sometimes think one person's passive-aggressiveness is another's blunt force trauma. One person will accuse another of being passive-aggressive, while the accusee will assert they were being direct. Once again, I think it depends on how a person defines direct and how much directness is necessary for them to pick up on what others are saying.
    Sure, passive aggressive is in the eye of the beholder. (yes, I'm full of cliches this morning) Someone may think/feel they are being tactful and someone else may see that as passive aggressive. Someone may think/feel they are being direct and someone else may see that as aggressive.

    All your scenarios can be effective or ineffective, depending on the situation and the people involved. Sometimes a hint is all it takes to get your message across and sometimes you have to be blunt. Communication styles matter. While you may not get your point across by hinting to someone who doesn't read between the lines, you are equally likely to not get your point across by confronting someone who recoils or retreats at the first sign of any conflict.

  2. #12
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    This thread: indirect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    Especially for your first two situations, you're presuming links between the managers having an agenda and their words relating to that agenda, while not everyone would make those same presumptions unless you spell it out and we start from the same place.
    The first two situations I cannot tell if the manager is actually communicating anything (meaningful).

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    but doesn't tell me why I'm doing it.
    Is it not clear that she wants to talk to you about it?

    Scenario 3: indirect. Would probably make me feel stupid if I were the lab tech. I would probably prefer to hear "will you change your gloves please?" (this makes me feel less stupid :] )

    Scenario 4: direct. I like this wording/situation.

  3. #13
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post

    Scene 1
    When I worked at Starbucks and when it was slow us baristas would sit around talk. If we still had unfinished duties to do the manager would eventually start assigning us tasks around the store (effectively ending our chat sessions) but did not say anything to us about our socializing.


    Scene 2
    When I worked at Victoria's Secret I so enjoyed one of my coworkers there. Basically we'd come to work just to talk and hang out. We'd typically choose some low customer interaction task and chit chat while we were working. Once our manager came up to us in full conversational thrall and said, "My! Aren't you two chatty Cathys!"
    To me these are both an indirect way of saying, "you're getting paid--work."

    However, for example, at my gong show of a job at a cycle and ski shop, the management does not manage effectively so I am not really willing to work hard for them when there's no logical reason to (logical reasons reduced to (a) customers being in the shop or (b) it's dirty and needs to be cleaned).

    I've taken the initiative to spend all afternoon overhauling the shoe storage area, only to return a week later for my next shift and have it in shambles--no big deal, unless this is representative of how the entire shop works and a pattern repeated ad infinitum with every employee who takes initative to pride themselves in their work. We get paid minimum wage, and aren't even rewarded by the management respecting our hard work to say to others, "hey--it's organized--try to keep it that way."

    It's all students there, so we each work a few hours a week, but it's ineffectively managed. After a year of trying, and seeing fellow employees overhaul areas of the shop only to have it in disrepair when we show up the next week, and talking to the management about it several times only to have them do nothing because they don't care, none of us are going to get off our ass to work if there's no customers, and the shop has been vacuumed/dusted/emptied garbages.

    So a third element here is a recognition of standards being respectfully imposed in an indirect manner, but an unwillingness to subscribe to the standards if there is no respect for the authority figures. I'd get off my butt and do the request, but I rarely take initiative at my shop anymore and don't go above and beyond until I'm asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Scene 3
    Recently I went to get blood drawn, the lab tech put on gloves and opened every drawer in the area looking for something and even left the room and I heard her rifling through drawers in the other room. She came back to me smiled and said "OK, ready!" I waited to see if she was going to change gloves again but when she picked up my arm I said "Are you going to change your gloves?"
    Direct. I mean, it's not full-blown, "don't touch me with your contaminated hands, you incompetent health care worker who can't remember basic rules taught to you from day one," but it's perfectly clear what you're communicating.
    Scenario 4 (stole this one)
    Imagine you've just hired a new consultant whose job is to help you improve your communication. The first time you meet with her, she hands you an article and says, "Sit down and read this article I've written. Think about it carefully. Then I want to talk to you about it."
    The last one would be direct but communicated very politely.


    I think the element here with some Ts is the bullshit factor. Sometimes we get it but we don't subscribe to the social conventions because they're bullshit given our past history with that person. Whereas an F would just as easily (more easily?) see the bullshit, but they probably value the convention more. When your goals have little to nothing to do with harmony because you have an issue you're trying to address, pretending to value harmony first and foremost is often bullshit. You can respectfully communicate something when you're peeved without needing harmony. I don't like the imposition of harmony being a value. I don't necessarily value it.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #14
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    Well protean, I think the significant variance of the answers you've received in just two pages should indicate that, indeed, what is considered "direct" and "indirect" communication cannot be determined by the situation alone.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  5. #15
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post
    Is it not clear that she wants to talk to you about it?
    In scenario 4 I am not clear if the article itself is about communication, or if the article is on something unrelated, and then afterward I am to practice good communication (or possibly it's both).
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
    http://www.revoltingvegetables.com

  6. #16
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    #1 direct. He puts you to work

    #2 indirect. He tells you that you speak, not that you dont work

    #3 direct. You asked directly if he will change gloves

    #4 direct. She tells you what to do without talking about things that arent important to the matter
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    In scenario 4 I am not clear if the article itself is about communication, or if the article is on something unrelated, and then afterward I am to practice good communication (or possibly it's both).
    I see the content of the article to be irrelevant. The point is that I am supposed to think about it, and then discuss it. And I do not see any specific expectation that I should practice good communication when I eventually discuss the article.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    You asked directly if he will change gloves
    She asked if the technician was going to change gloves. If I were the technician I would think to myself "Why would I change my gloves? I have no reason to change my gloves" and then would realize that I am mistaken and that I do in fact have a reason, and that is why she asked the question/

  8. #18
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post

    She asked if the technician was going to change gloves. If I were the technician I would think to myself "Why would I change my gloves? I have no reason to change my gloves" and then would realize that I am mistaken and that I do in fact have a reason, and that is why she asked the question
    If people were direct to begin with, you wouldn't have to go through any of those steps.

    "Change your gloves, please. You just touched 50,000 surfaces."

    Hyperbole is optional.

  9. #19
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamp View Post
    I see the content of the article to be irrelevant. The point is that I am supposed to think about it, and then discuss it. And I do not see any specific expectation that I should practice good communication when I eventually discuss the article.
    I think we are seeing scenario 4 pretty differently. Let me try to clarify the way I interpret it. I hired a consultant to teach me communication skills. She begins by telling me to read material so that I can discuss it later. I see this as direct but uninformative, because while she told me what to do I don't know in what way it pertains to why I originally hired her.
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)
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  10. #20
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    Master of Indirect convo here. Serves you good in business but sucks with woman
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

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