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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by faith View Post
    I really expect other people to police themselves and keep themselves under control, doing the right thing at the right time. I'll remind them if necessary, but after that I'm reluctant to take harsher measures. I want to give them every opportunity to do what's appropriate on their own initiative. When they continuously neglect or refuse to do this, it makes me angry because they're disturbing and disrupting the ordered flow of the classroom.
    That's a great example, concisely stated. I have a busy day ahead, so I can't address it right at the moment. But I'll write up something this afternoon or evening showing the dynamics and how to improve on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I (hypothetical I) need to know whatever you (hypothetical you) have to tell me. How I take it, how I act or not act on it, is my choice and not your responsibility. Holding out through fear of controlling people can be just as counterproductive to someone's natural learning curve/development as being too controlling.

    [...]

    Personally (and I think I speak for many people but especially most P's) the idea of having to "push back" against an attempt to control me is nowhere near as horrible as the idea of failing to act when I should, or of making some other mistake, due to not having sufficient information. Especially when that's information I could've had, if someone hadn't been holding back on me.
    I love it! Probably the clearest example yet of how non-control on one side can cause people on the other side to flounder and feel undercut. To be effective, communication needs to account for the processing and judging needs of both sides.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jive A Turkey View Post
    A concept that I've seen work for many people is to make a decision once you've got about 60% of the information. The idea is that with this distribution you'll make the right decision most of the time and you'll do it quickly.
    Good rule. I haven't seen this stated this way, but I like it. It's the other side of the coin. Assuming equal maturity on both sides, we can't always hold the other party to the highest standard and insist they account for all our needs and quirks. There has to be flexibility on both sides. This rule makes the point that the recipient of information also has options for adjusting to an imperfect flow of communication; there are concrete ways to keep a relationship or project moving forward in a commonsense and goodwill fashion even when the guidance from the other side gets a bit murky.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    you got it!

    I get no kicks out of the act of controlling people- I'd rather not- I'd just rather have my own way! horrible, yes, but I'd rather it be me getting my way than them making me miserable!
    You'll get no quarrel from me. I can understand people knowing what they want and being willing to fight to get it. There's a certain directness and eminent rationality to that outlook.

    I can adjust to anything, as long as the rules are consistent and apply to both parties equally. It may involve a little head-butting to get each other's measure. But if the other person acts consistently and rationally in their own way, I'll figure out some way to work with them.

  3. #33
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    Assertiveness is what allows you to stand up for yourself, not to say "you're wrong," but to say "this is what I need." Then it's up to the other person to either do what you ask or accept the consequences.

    Eg, if you repeatedly make plans with a friend who's always late and can't find her cellphone to call you, you can say "I don't like to wait for you every time we get together. So from now on, if you're more than 10 minutes late, I'm going to assume your plans have changed and I'll go on to the next part of my day."

    That's different from controlling her. That's watching out for your own self.

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  4. #34
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    I see two issues emerging in this discussion.

    1. The need to state expectations clearly so that both parties have the information they need to act.

    2. How to implement the consequences of not meeting those expectations.

    It can be easier to implement consequences if they are designed as part of a pre-planned system. The difficulty can arise when the leader has to improvise during real-time power struggles with subordinates. Once a certain level of pressure is introduced, it is wise to maintain it consistently. This is one thing that held me back from calling out students who were late (or whatever) and such things. Once you start that, it is important to do it every time, and the more passive person will be required to deflect energy and focus that could have been spent elsewhere. I find in leadership you must choose your battles, and choose the ones you can maintain in the moment and every time it comes up.

    Sometimes it is easier to just find the best natural match for personality and employment. One thing that has encouraged me about the counseling profession is that the boundary is naturally drawn where I understand it best. The number one ethic in the field is to respect autonomy. You are advised against giving advice, imposing values, or trying to unduly influence the client. Instead you listen and work to put yourself in their shoes and attempt to help organize their thoughts based on their own terms and values. The role of counselor is quite passive in that regard.

    I really appreciate the comments in this thread. This has been a balanced approach to this topic and has provided a lot of food for thought.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jae Rae View Post
    Assertiveness is what allows you to stand up for yourself, not to say "you're wrong," but to say "this is what I need." Then it's up to the other person to either do what you ask or accept the consequences.

    Eg, if you repeatedly make plans with a friend who's always late and can't find her cellphone to call you, you can say "I don't like to wait for you every time we get together. So from now on, if you're more than 10 minutes late, I'm going to assume your plans have changed and I'll go on to the next part of my day."

    That's different from controlling her. That's watching out for your own self.

    Jae Rae
    I agree. Good example of assertiveness.

    On the subject of control vs. assertiveness: There are some semantic issues with the idea of "control."

    I would say that as we get the habit of asserting our own needs on a regular basis, we do tend to gain some control over our lives and environment (including the people around us). And that's a good thing. It's important that all individuals be able to feel a measure of control over their fate and their immediate enviroment. Feeling "out of control" is a cause for anxiety and stress.

    But I think it's agreed that we don't want to be controlling in a negative, anal-retentive, grasping manner. Control shouldn't be seized and hoarded. Others need to feel in control of their lives and their environment just as much as we do. Control should be shared with others, even in a workplace leader-subordinate relationship.
    Last edited by RDF; 01-12-2008 at 12:23 AM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I see two issues emerging in this discussion.

    1. The need to state expectations clearly so that both parties have the information they need to act.

    2. How to implement the consequences of not meeting those expectations.

    It can be easier to implement consequences if they are designed as part of a pre-planned system. The difficulty can arise when the leader has to improvise during real-time power struggles with subordinates. Once a certain level of pressure is introduced, it is wise to maintain it consistently. This is one thing that held me back from calling out students who were late (or whatever) and such things. Once you start that, it is important to do it every time, and the more passive person will be required to deflect energy and focus that could have been spent elsewhere. I find in leadership you must choose your battles, and choose the ones you can maintain in the moment and every time it comes up.
    Great comments. These are precisely the issues I want to address later in my feedback on Faith's post.

    For now I have to log out and get some IRL work done. But you've definitely gone right to the heart of the matter with your remarks, above.

  7. #37
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    Yes, toonia, good summary.

    I think I'm pretty good at the first and not so good at the second. It's interesting because when I'm training my dogs or looking after a friend's children it's much easier to implement the consequences of not meeting expectations. I think it has to do with the fact that negative confrontation requires a lot of energy from me and leaves me with a bitter aftertaste. Teaching itself requires so much energy--unholy hours of unbroken extroversion--that I feel depleted when it comes to initiating the fight required to enforce appropriate behavior. (Ha--in other words, I'm a wimp.) With puppies or just a handful of kids, I can still retain enough energy to initiate the fight, so to speak.

    I'm interested in what you say about counseling lining up more with your natural boundaries, toonia. I keep coming back to counseling as a career and wanting to pursue it in a serious way, but something I can't quite name is making me afraid.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    There is a lot of information on controlling behaviors, but I haven't found as much concerning the opposite extreme.
    Based on Interaction Styles, I would say that would be the Behind the Scenes types that include INTP, ISFP, ISFJ and INFP. Compare this with the types that typicaly try to control people in situations which would be the In Charge type (ENTJ, ESTP, ESTJ and ENFJ).

  9. #39
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Jae Rae's Avatar
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    But counselors still need to set limits with clients who don't show up for appointments, cancel with short notice, call too often, bring up important issues at the end of a session, forget or bounce their checks, etc.

    Jae Rae
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jae Rae View Post
    But counselors still need to set limits with clients who don't show up for appointments, cancel with short notice, call too often, bring up important issues at the end of a session, forget or bounce their checks, etc.

    Jae Rae
    Yes. Nearly every responsibility in life requires that you set limits of some kind and deal with situations in which those expectations are not met. But if a person is working with her natural set of boundaries and values, rather than against them, it seems to me that it would be more energy-efficient so that resources are available for those times requiring confrontation.

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