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Ask vs. Guess Culture (lighting talk)

Ask vs. Guess Culture (lighting talk)

A talk on the ask vs. guess culture communication style difference (see http://www.thewire.com/national/2010/05/askers-vs-guessers/19730/)

Presented July 2014 at New Relic engineering offsite, ~9 minutes: http://youtu.be/Fi9uBYIbNFc.

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Katherine Wu

July 16, 2014
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Transcript

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

  2. None
  3. You

  4. You Jamie

  5. You Jamie Taylor

  6. You Jamie Taylor

  7. You Jamie Taylor Can Taylor stay with you?

  8. You Jamie ? Taylor

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

  10. You Jamie or Taylor

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

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

    a difficult position.” Ask Culture Guess Culture
  13. None
  14. it’s OK to ask for anything + you’re OK getting

    ‘no’ for an answer ASK
  15. avoid asking unless the answer will be yes GUESS

  16. ASK GUESS

  17. ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  18. ASK GUESS Northeast Pacific Northwest Midwest

  19. a few examples

  20. “The Seattle No” https://medium.com/lessons-learned/the-seattle-no-177091f864a4

  21. Hey, I’m going to this party, do you want to

    come?
  22. Hmm that sounds interesting, I’ll have to check.

  23. or

  24. Oh yeah, maybe…

  25. Oh yeah, maybe… + don’t hear from them again about

    it
  26. THIS MEANS NO.

  27. None
  28. Me: “Hmm, I don’t have time to make lunch 


    ! ! for next week.”
  29. Me: “Hmm, I don’t have time to make lunch 


    ! ! for next week.” Dan hears
  30. Me: “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
  31. Dan: “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.”

  32. Dan: “I’m going to cook 2 meals this weekend.” I

    think
  33. Dan: “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
  34. Dan: “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 What I did not say: “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
  35. End Result Me Dan

  36. End Result Me “Why do we have so much food

    in the fridge?” Dan
  37. End Result Me “Why do we have so much food

    in the fridge?” Dan “I’m such a good husband.”
  38. pros/cons

  39. Ask Culture

  40. Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency

  41. Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity

  42. Ask Culture Prioritizes efficiency No ambiguity Gets what you want


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


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


    (in the short-term) More open conflict Can make people feel uncomfortable
  45. Guess Culture

  46. Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings

  47. Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings More polite

  48. Guess Culture Prioritizes not 
 hurting feelings More polite Hard

    if you’re bad at 
 reading social cues
  49. 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
  50. strategies for handling

  51. If you’re from Ask Culture…

  52. If you’re from Ask Culture… Make a Guess Culture close

    friend
  53. If you’re from Ask Culture… Make a Guess Culture close

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

    friend Listen more closely Apologize if you realize >1 interpretation
  55. If you’re from Guess Culture…

  56. If you’re from Guess Culture… Remember that people might be

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

    
 unaware of “the rules” Resist the urge to “soften” a “No”
  58. work situations

  59. peer-to-peer

  60. peer-to-peer code review

  61. peer-to-peer code review working across different offices

  62. “Hey, I have a question, but it’s totally cool if

    you want to say no.”
  63. manager-to-report

  64. manager-to-report discuss communication styles

  65. manager-to-report discuss communication styles Ask Manager + Guess Report =

    be careful!
  66. if you have any questions…

  67. just ask. ;)