Fixing Our Loser From The Other Week

In a follow up to Three Reasons Why You Are A Loser I wanted to discuss further a few ideas and expand on some of the comments that were posted. Coincidentally, in the week that the event that led up to the post, I was scheduled to a corporate class called “Giving  & Receiving Feedback” and I learned a few things that I wanted to bring up in the aforementioned post.

To Begin:

Let’s take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs above. If you are in the market of manufactured spending you have the basic needs covered. It’s the other 60% that you are playing this game for whatever reason.


That Other Guy:

In the post referenced above, I don’t know where other guy fits as I am no psychologist. He could have had a bad day and took it out on the CSR. Whatever the case may be, it was not a socially acceptable behavior. Is he MS’ing for esteem? To be part of a group? Who knows..

Why did I bring up Maslow? Because I loved the two comments left by David and Josh.

Let’s take a look at an excerpt of David’s comment:

Look. Run your blog, I don’t care. But since we have to deal with people like this now, let’s start calling them out. I don’t know why most MSers out in the wild are so secretive and withdrawn. If you see someone being stupid, tell them so instead of passive aggressively writing a blog post on it.

David is right, passive aggressive action does nothing.  I hate that s**t, but I did it. I know of one girl that was never like that, I loved her for that. Very direct.  Back to David’s point, it never crossed my mind to even take him aside as simple as “hey, that was not right.”

This goes to the very top of the pyramid, Self Actualization. If I had pulled the guy aside would he have even listened to me because he was so riled up? As Josh posted in his comment, if he did not know his actions were not acceptable he would need to be told that was not right. After that, it is up to him if he takes in the advice and wants to be better. This is why I love reading self help articles and books. Quora is my favorite source of advice and inspiration all thanks to PF Digest to getting me hooked on the site.

There’s many things that have been pointed out to me that I need fixing, for one – when I speak, my tones are all jacked up and oftentimes I send the wrong message. And for those who don’t want to work for “the man”, this is where I have to argue with you. There’s a lot of interaction with people who can tell you what’s up. I’ve been noticing that as you get higher up the ladder, less real feedback is given because everyone wants to kiss butt and not hurt anyone’s feelings. I want to argue that point because the higher ups didn’t get there without feedback.

The Thinking Cap Is On Comment:

Here’s Josh’s comment:

I’m just trying to be constructive here. My point is that assuming everyone automatically knows good strategy by default is faulty. I think if we’re going to criticize behavior, it’s important to offer up what behavior we expected in its place. The reason for this is because people are generally behaving rationally from their own perspective, and so merely telling them their “doing it wrong” without any alternative isn’t always going to persuade them, because ultimately they had justification for their actions according to their world view.

If instead you acknowledge the need they were meeting when they behaved in the fashion you didn’t like, and give them so alternate way to satisfy that need, then you may actually convince that person and actually help to change their behavior. Berating them is not enough, because it ignores the basic need they were trying to meet.

In this case, the person felt justified in pointing out corporate policy and trying to persuade the manager because he didn’t realize that the long term benefits might outweigh the short term gains here. Through deduction, I can conclude chasingthepoints was trying to say this; he was trying to communicate that putting the value of any one transaction ahead of the whole game is ultimately self defeating. But unless you actually acknowledge that it’s also somewhat reasonable to make this mistake…take less of a hardline stance on the issue, then you’re going to just piss people off.

I think you’ll convince more people to behave better by encouraging good habits, and explaining them clearly.

loved this response. Thought provoking. The other day, my mentor at my job, gave me a solid piece of advice on intelligent people. It’s to see both sides of the argument clearly. Josh covered that nicely in his comment and provides a solution. Side note: ever read Milenomics’ posts??? His analysis has the duality covered, they’re great reads.

Back to the comment – I have to agree with Josh. If one day someone better than me crosses paths with the other guy and tells him he needs to take action to his behavior, he will get further. Way further. If he doesn’t change, sure he could win the battle, but you’ll lose the war. It’s not even supposed to be a war.

If you encounter incidents or behavior similar to this, the class I took mentions to never say “You did XYZ” because that’ll just put the defenses up on the other person. Instead, it’s suggested for you to say “I noticed that XYZ happened.” So for this guy the conversation should have been “Hey, I noticed you had a little trouble buying the gift card. In the future what do you think would help fix the situation? When the CSR is upset, they’re not going to be as eager to try things out.”

Manufactured spending is definitely a humbling activity.

4 comments… add one
  • Good post. Quora is strangely addictive, every time I see one of their digest emails I end up getting sucked into a rabbit hole.

    • I love the Quora questions in the IT sections and people are asking about Google or Facebook and the engineers answer questions

  • Great post. If WE can check the attitude, then we have a better chance of encouraging others to change behavior. in this forum, I’ve seen unschooled MSers, not ones who were berating a manager, just not doing something in an informed manner, called “idiots” and “jerks” by more seasoned MSers.

    Compassion goes a long way, yes?


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