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Ask vs. Guess Culture Communication (RubyConf Portugal)

40be222374e709cae7543dee233fe2e1?s=47 Katherine Wu
October 27, 2016

Ask vs. Guess Culture Communication (RubyConf Portugal)

Abstract:
Have you ever been told you’re “too direct,” or feel like you don’t understand what others want? Or on the other side, do you think others are often too confrontational? These are Ask vs Guess Culture differences. Ask folks believe it’s ok to ask anything, because it’s ok to say no, while Guess folks prioritize not imposing on others. It’s a culture clash that isn’t often recognized, yet causes quite a bit of tension and frustration. This talk will cover the nuances of these different communication styles, as well as strategies for bridging the gap. Gaining an understanding of these differences and learning specific tactics for a professional context will make you a drastically more effective communicator.

This talk was presented at RubyConf Portugal 2016, ~32 minutes: https://youtu.be/vuF4FogSt3Y
Blog post: http://kwugirl.blogspot.com/2015/05/ask-vs-guess-culture-communications.html

40be222374e709cae7543dee233fe2e1?s=128

Katherine Wu

October 27, 2016
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Transcript

  1. @kwugirl Ask vs. Guess Cultures KWu, an Ask Culture person

    Ruby Agent Software Engineer
  2. @kwugirl strong brightly colored curious

  3. @kwugirl strong brightly colored curious Bench press: 103lbs / 46.7kg

    Back squat: 185lbs / 83.9kg Deadlift: 225lbs / 102kg
  4. @kwugirl strong brightly colored curious

  5. @kwugirl strong brightly colored curious

  6. @kwugirl strong brightly colored curious

  7. @kwugirl Cat-lage… like a collage, but for cats….

  8. @kwugirl

  9. @kwugirl so many cats…

  10. @kwugirl …just a huge cat-alogue…

  11. @kwugirl

  12. @kwugirl You

  13. @kwugirl You Jamie

  14. @kwugirl You Jamie Taylor

  15. @kwugirl You Jamie Taylor

  16. @kwugirl You Jamie Taylor Can Taylor stay with you?

  17. @kwugirl You Jamie ? Taylor

  18. @kwugirl You Jamie I’ll just tell them no. Taylor

  19. @kwugirl You Jamie or Taylor

  20. @kwugirl You Jamie Ugh, this puts me in a difficult

    position. Taylor
  21. @kwugirl “I’ll just tell them no.” “Ugh, this puts me

    in a difficult position.” Ask Culture Guess Culture
  22. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations
  23. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations overview of cultures
  24. @kwugirl

  25. @kwugirl it’s OK to ask for anything + you’re OK

    getting ‘no’ for an answer ASK
  26. @kwugirl avoid asking unless the answer will be yes GUESS

  27. @kwugirl extend out delicate feelers GUESS

  28. @kwugirl don’t have to explicitly ask GUESS

  29. @kwugirl if you accept, are you imposing too much? GUESS

  30. @kwugirl putting others in the position of having to say

    ‘no’ seems rude GUESS
  31. @kwugirl ASK GUESS

  32. @kwugirl ASK GUESS

  33. @kwugirl ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  34. @kwugirl ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  35. @kwugirl one culture ≯ another culture

  36. @kwugirl “Deal with Reality on Reality’s terms.”

  37. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations a few examples
  38. @kwugirl “The Seattle No” https://medium.com/lessons-learned/the-seattle-no-177091f864a4

  39. @kwugirl Hey, I’m going to this party, do you want

    to come?
  40. @kwugirl Hmm that sounds interesting, I’ll have to check.

  41. @kwugirl or

  42. @kwugirl Oh yeah, maybe…

  43. @kwugirl Oh yeah, maybe… + don’t hear from them again

    about it
  44. @kwugirl THIS MEANS NO.

  45. @kwugirl THIS MEANS NO. (not obvious to all of us)

  46. @kwugirl

  47. @kwugirl “Hmm, I don’t have time to make lunch 


    for next week.”
  48. @kwugirl “Hmm, I don’t have time to make lunch 


    for next week.” Dan hears
  49. @kwugirl “Hmm, I don’t have time to make lunch 


    for next week.” “Could you make extra meals so I have lunch for the week?” Dan hears
  50. @kwugirl “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.”

  51. @kwugirl “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.” I

    think
  52. @kwugirl “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.” “That’s

    so weird, Dan’s planning to make an extra meal this weekend, but ok.” I think
  53. @kwugirl “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.” “That’s

    so weird, Dan’s planning to make an extra meal this weekend, but ok.” What I did not say: “Oh, you don’t have to do that.” I think
  54. @kwugirl End Result

  55. @kwugirl End Result “Why do we have so much food

    in the fridge?”
  56. @kwugirl End Result “Why do we have so much food

    in the fridge?” “I’m such a good husband.”
  57. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations pros/cons
  58. @kwugirl Ask Culture

  59. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency

  60. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity

  61. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity Gets what you

    want
 (in the short-term)
  62. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity Gets what you

    want
 (in the short-term) More open conflict
  63. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity Gets what you

    want
 (in the short-term) More open conflict Can make people feel uncomfortable
  64. @kwugirl Guess Culture

  65. @kwugirl Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings

  66. @kwugirl Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings More polite

  67. @kwugirl Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings More polite

    Hard if you’re bad at 
 reading social cues
  68. @kwugirl Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings More polite

    Hard if you’re bad at 
 reading social cues Can feel like no one is listening to you
  69. @kwugirl proportion of requests granted requests granted explicit verbal requests

  70. @kwugirl requests granted proportion of requests granted requests granted explicit

    verbal requests
  71. @kwugirl requests granted explicit verbal requests 
 + implicit requests!

    proportion of requests granted requests granted explicit verbal requests
  72. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations further considerations
  73. @kwugirl

  74. @kwugirl personality family __context__

  75. @kwugirl company culture

  76. @kwugirl team culture

  77. @kwugirl personal experiences

  78. @kwugirl women

  79. @kwugirl women “abrasive”

  80. @kwugirl women “abrasive” “timid”

  81. @kwugirl ???

  82. @kwugirl family

  83. @kwugirl family work

  84. @kwugirl how well you know someone ??????? stranger BFF

  85. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations strategies for handling
  86. @kwugirl If you’re from Ask Culture…

  87. @kwugirl If you’re from Ask Culture… Make a Guess Culture

    close friend
  88. @kwugirl If you’re from Ask Culture… Make a Guess Culture

    close friend Listen more closely
  89. @kwugirl If you’re from Ask Culture… Make a Guess Culture

    close friend Listen more closely Apologize if you realize >1 interpretation
  90. @kwugirl If you’re from Guess Culture…

  91. @kwugirl If you’re from Guess Culture… Remember that people might

    be 
 unaware of “the rules”
  92. @kwugirl If you’re from Guess Culture… Remember that people might

    be 
 unaware of “the rules” Resist the urge to “soften” a “No”
  93. @kwugirl litmus test overview of cultures a few examples pros/cons

    further considerations strategies for handling work situations work situations
  94. @kwugirl work situations general things to consider useful phrasings example

    situations use your strengths
  95. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

    your strengths work situations general things to consider
  96. @kwugirl short-term vs. long-term

  97. @kwugirl relationships

  98. @kwugirl are you sure you know what other people are

    thinking?
  99. @kwugirl don’t assume they… will react as you would are

    unhappy with you
  100. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

    your strengths work situations useful phrasings
  101. @kwugirl “Hey, I have a question, but it’s totally ok

    to say no.”
  102. @kwugirl “Hey, I have a question,
 but it’s totally ok

    to say no.”
  103. @kwugirl “Hey, I have a question, but it’s totally ok

    if you want to say no.”
  104. @kwugirl “it’s ok if you’re busy…” “Hey, I have a

    question, but it’s totally ok if you want to say no.”
  105. @kwugirl “it’s ok if you’re busy…” “I understand if you’re

    busy…” “Hey, I have a question, but it’s totally ok if you want to say no.”
  106. @kwugirl “I have an observation, not a judgment—please tell me

    more! I’m curious.”
  107. @kwugirl “Hey, remember when we talked about how I should

    be more assertive? Well, _____”
  108. @kwugirl discuss communication styles

  109. @kwugirl “Sometimes I have trouble speaking up, it would really

    help if…”
  110. @kwugirl use this talk as an excuse!

  111. @kwugirl “I went to this amazing talk at RubyConf Portugal…”

  112. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

    your strengths work situations example situations
  113. @kwugirl getting/giving help

  114. @kwugirl

  115. @kwugirl “I’m not sure I understand
 this feature.”

  116. @kwugirl “I’m not sure I understand
 this feature.” (“Can someone

    help me?”)
  117. @kwugirl don’t assume silence == ok

  118. @kwugirl “Do you have any questions for me?”

  119. @kwugirl “What questions do you have for me?”

  120. @kwugirl “We have a few options that work, A/B/C. Let

    me know!”
  121. @kwugirl Ask Manager & Guess Report

  122. @kwugirl Ask Manager & Guess Report positive reinforcement for saying

    “no”
  123. @kwugirl Ask Manager & Guess Report positive reinforcement for saying

    “no” be extremely wary of giving illusion of choice
  124. @kwugirl Ask Manager & Guess Report positive reinforcement for saying

    “no” be extremely wary of giving illusion of choice don’t default processes to people needing to ask
  125. @kwugirl Ask Manager & Guess Report positive reinforcement for saying

    “no” be extremely wary of giving illusion of choice don’t default processes to people needing to ask PAY ATTENTION
  126. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

    your strengths work situations use your strengths
  127. @kwugirl meetings

  128. @kwugirl be thoughtful, help each other

  129. @kwugirl if you have any questions…

  130. @kwugirl just ask. ;)

  131. @kwugirl just ask. ;)

  132. @kwugirl just ask. ;)

  133. @kwugirl Safe Harbor This document and the information herein (including

    any information that may be incorporated by reference) is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an offer, commitment, promise or obligation on behalf of New Relic, Inc. (“New Relic”) to sell securities or deliver any product, material, code, functionality, or other feature. Any information provided hereby is proprietary to New Relic and may not be replicated or disclosed without New Relic’s express written permission. Such information may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Any statement that is not a historical fact or refers to expectations, projections, future plans, objectives, estimates, goals, or other characterizations of future events is a forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements can often be identified as such because the context of the statement will include words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “expects” or words of similar import. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Existing and prospective investors, customers and other third parties transacting business with New Relic are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements are based on New Relic’s current assumptions, expectations, and beliefs and are subject to substantial risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and changes in circumstances that may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. Further information on factors that could affect such forward-looking statements is included in the filings we make with the SEC from time to time. Copies of these documents may be obtained by visiting New Relic’s Investor Relations website at ir.newrelic.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. New Relic assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. New Relic makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document or otherwise, with respect to the information provided.