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Ask vs. Guess Culture Communication (The Lead Developer UK)

Ask vs. Guess Culture Communication (The Lead Developer UK)

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 The Lead Developer UK 2017, ~32 minutes
Blog post: http://kwugirl.blogspot.com/2015/05/ask-vs-guess-culture-communications.html

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Katherine Wu

June 08, 2017
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Transcript

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

    Senior Software Engineer
  2. @kwugirl

  3. @kwugirl You

  4. @kwugirl You Jamie

  5. @kwugirl You Jamie Taylor

  6. @kwugirl You Jamie Taylor

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

  8. @kwugirl You Jamie ? Taylor

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

  10. @kwugirl You Jamie or Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  18. @kwugirl extend out delicate feelers GUESS

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

  20. @kwugirl “offer culture”

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

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

    ‘no’ seems rude GUESS
  23. @kwugirl “perceive the need” Eryn O'Neil at The Lead Developer

    NY 2017
  24. @kwugirl ASK GUESS

  25. @kwugirl ASK GUESS

  26. @kwugirl ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  27. @kwugirl ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  28. @kwugirl ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  29. @kwugirl one culture ≯ another culture

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

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

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

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

  34. @kwugirl or

  35. @kwugirl Oh yeah, maybe…

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

    about it
  37. @kwugirl THIS MEANS NO.

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

  39. @kwugirl

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


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


    for next week.” Dan hears
  42. @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
  43. @kwugirl “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.”

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

    think
  45. @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
  46. @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
  47. @kwugirl End Result

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

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

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

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

  52. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency

  53. @kwugirl Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity

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

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

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

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

  58. @kwugirl Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings

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

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

    Hard if you’re bad at 
 reading social cues
  61. @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
  62. @kwugirl proportion of requests granted requests granted explicit verbal requests

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

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

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

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

  67. @kwugirl personality family __context__

  68. @kwugirl company culture

  69. @kwugirl team culture

  70. @kwugirl personal experiences

  71. @kwugirl women

  72. @kwugirl women “abrasive”

  73. @kwugirl women “abrasive” “timid”

  74. @kwugirl ???

  75. @kwugirl family

  76. @kwugirl family work

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  90. @kwugirl relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    question, but it’s totally ok if you want to say no.”
  98. @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.”
  99. @kwugirl “Hey, remember when we talked about how I should

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

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

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

  103. @kwugirl “I went to this amazing talk at The Lead

    Developer…”
  104. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

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

  106. @kwugirl

  107. @kwugirl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “no” be extremely wary of giving illusion of choice
  117. @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
  118. @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
  119. @kwugirl “People assume that if their boss is assigning them

    a ton of work, 
 there’s no point in speaking up” https://www.thecut.com/2017/05/ask-a-boss-how-do-i-get-more-attention-from-my-boss.html
  120. @kwugirl additional situations to consider publish vs. pull managers
 https://medium.com/@wiredferret/publish-vs-pull-managers-e2b52a45d7e9

    non-native language speakers
 https://medium.com/@mollyclare/taming-the-steamroller-how-to-communicate-compassionately-with-non-native-english-speakers-d95d8d1845a0 retros formats of messaging (phone call vs. Slack)
  121. @kwugirl general things to consider useful phrasings example situations use

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

  123. @kwugirl be thoughtful, help each other

  124. @kwugirl if you have any questions…

  125. @kwugirl just ask. ;)

  126. @kwugirl just ask. ;)

  127. @kwugirl just ask. ;)