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Thread: SJs, explain this authority thing

  1. #11
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    I have been in several situations at work, some I've been involved in others I've just been a spectator in which people have made "suggestions" but their tone and the content of their "suggestion" has automatically put others on the defensive. I would not describe the people who have gotten defensive hypersensitive. The spirit in which a suggestion/helpful hint is given often and how (time, place, context, etc) affects how the suggestion is made. We've had several meetings where people shout out changes and suggestions and nobody gets upset and everyone agrees that's a good idea. Others (typically depending on the person's previous track record) everyone bristles when one person opens their mouth and people don't even respond.

    I can see little snide comments like "He's so stupid, why can't we line up like blah blah blah?" or "why do we do we have line up our horns?" made in a whining voice that erodes the patience and good manners of your section leader. Of course your section leader could be giddy with power and truly an asshole. Or he could be dealing with a bunch of recalcitrant brats. I'm not going to brand him rude and or a power trip just because your version of events says so.

    I was in marching band when I was in high school and the thought was if you couldn't even get in the proper formation while practicing why would lead your section leader and drum major believe that you'll do it during a game or performance? That's what the concept of practice is all about, for you refine and demonstrate your knowledge of the music and the formations.

    So I don't know how much this has to do with SJs and authority, but I do know that a lot of it has to do with how you speak and say things to people on both ends. I wanted to be in marching band when I was in high school and enjoyed it, so I did what I was told mostly. My sections leaders were made section leaders because they played better than the rest of us and typically were juniors or seniors who had been in band since they were freshman. I don't know if that's how it's arranged at your school though.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Array NewEra's Avatar
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    Dec 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by run View Post
    I don't want to wait, because then the situation is over. I can't recall a situation with the context back with him.
    Okay, but I think that if you tried to call him out during a practice (and he didn't like it), then you should try a different avenue and speak to him privately, see what he says. Just try it, see how it goes.

  3. #13


    I don't like confrontation. If someones causing a problem, I would politely ask them to stop in private. If I didn't I would give them an ultimatum. If they kept on doing it, they're out of the group. Now, that's just me, I don't like confrontation and it wouldn't work from me, but if the best way to get to people is that way, someone else is in their rights doing it.

    Now, i'm assuming that i'm in a position of authority for this. It wouldn't be my problem and I wouldn't care unless it affected me if I wasn't.

  4. #14
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    In my experience I've found that NTs are the most likely to question how things are done. It is not meant as anything personal, but because it is done fairly bluntly and publicly, it often puts people on the defensive (particularly SJs and NFs will not appreciate it).

    SJs are the most likely to view the structure of authority as significant and feel that you are trying to usurp their position. They also tend to acquiesce to authority and expect you to do the same. It's the equivalent of standing in the grocery line and someone just walking up and edging in ahead of them and making them look stupid in the process. Although you may not see your questions as a challenge to their authority necessarily, most likely they will. You also haven't given them a chance to save face by doing it privately, so they feel that you've made them look stupid in front of the group, which will make them dig their heels in more (whether you have a better idea or not) and even react emotionally (which will cause you to lose respect for their authority, which doesn't hold so much water for an NT in the first place).

    With an NF, they will resent you questioning them publicly because it feels hostile and they immediately will feel like you dislike them and think less of you for presenting your opinion in what is perceived as an abrasive and challenging way in front of others. For them it's more of a personal thing rather than you questioning their position. They may react emotionally as well.

    While it might seem better to you to make your opinion known in the moment, it generally is less efficient and will not get the result you want, which is for things to run in the way they ought to and for the leader to treat you and the rest of the group with respect.

  5. #15
    IRL is not real Array Cimarron's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    5w6 sp/so


    About authority: I don't know...maybe it's easier to "know" who has the answers instead of constantly guessing and shifting to find someone who does? Though of course people can't always rely on the truth to be set up so easily that way, but it is more convenient to have it in one place. Maybe that's how "authority" came to be, as a social concept?

    On your story: I think you'd be much more likely to get what you want if you talk to him in private. Well, public humiliation may get what you want in the short-term, but may cut off possibilities in the long-term.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  6. #16
    Carerra Lu Array IZthe411's Avatar
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    Jul 2009


    Even though I'm SJ I don't automatically defer to the authority figure if I don't agree with their decision. And if I'm the authority person, if a person respectfully asks questions my decision, I'm kind of mixed on the defensive/agreeable stance. I guess by nature I will feel like they are challenging me, but I try not to take it that way, and if it's a good idea I agree to change.

    I think especially at work, I'm more likely to question the way things are done, because I tend to always looks for ways to improve things.

  7. #17
    Twerking & Lurking Array ayoitsStepho's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    4w3 so/sx


    I can deffinatley relate here to what everyone else is saying behalf of SJ's. I know for myself, when somebody questions me it typically isnt a BIG deal. It hurts a little, but if its said with kindness then I can get over it. But if its said in a your face kind of way, then it can hurt and really offend me. Then that person is marked in my head as someone who will continue to disrepect me and my authority. Everybody has a way of running things, just take the extra step and actually listen and pay attention. In some cases, other peoples' ways of doing things can be better than yours in the long run.
    If you have questions, wait until after practice and talk to him alone. Dont be rude and sarcastic. Just ask, simple as that. Hope i helped.
    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
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  8. #18
    Banned Array
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    Mar 2012
    5w6 sx/so


    No offense SJs but my Ti justice compells me to speak the truth! Authority is both all powerful and all stupid. I guess I can't blame you guys to much though for your dependence upon authority since it is pretty much programmed into your systems from birth since type never changes!

  9. #19
    Senior Member Array Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    3w4 sx/so


    Quote Originally Posted by run View Post
    I'm asking you SJs, because you're good at this kind of thing. Here's my case study: I have an ESFJ section leader. He quite often uses the structure of authority as his excuse to get away with putting us down, shouting, and call us idiots whenever we make a stupid mistake.

    But here's my objection:

    Marching band staff is a system made by humans for the sole sake of effeciency. Morality, and how you treat other people isn't. I think its never ok to demean someone. Yes, it might be wrong to argue with an authority figure. That's another question. My question is, when that does happen, it's wrong to publicly embarrass them.

    Apparently I had been "defying his authority" in the past couple weeks. I haven't been. I've been merely making suggestions. The part that bugs me is that I was somehow "wrong" for speaking up in public, and I got reamed out today because it ticked him off.

    Plus, what's so wrong with making suggestions? It's harmless to suggest something to improve efficiency in the section. I'm not going to wait and approach him in private. I think this kid has an authority complex.

    Oh, he constantly reminds us of every little then, then reams us out for not being responsible. If he wants us to be responsible, he should shut up.
    A suggestion would be then to offer your thoughts using a disclaimer to the SJ. As in 'As a suggestion...what might be right about doing such and such...?'. That sort of thing tends to go over generally well and in a language they're more apt to understand.

    Of course, if he's belligerent, there's little anyone except whoever signs his paycheck can do.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
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  10. #20
    hyggelig Array EJCC's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    173 so/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by RaptorWizard View Post
    No offense SJs but my Ti justice compells me to speak the truth! Authority is both all powerful and all stupid. I guess I can't blame you guys to much though for your dependence upon authority since it is pretty much programmed into your systems from birth since type never changes!
    I enjoy witnessing this hobby of yours, RaptorWizard. It's like if you're browsing at the library and something catches your eye that you haven't read in years -- and then you open that book and find someone's ridiculous comments in the margins.
    and it's nice enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don't
    weep, do

    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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    conscientious > sensitive > serious (oldham)
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