Friday, December 09, 2005

Appreciate that

Today I had an interesting training on how to confront constructively. I would not divulge the details of it, as they might lie beyond the thin line of confidentiality.

Instead, I would ponder upon one of many interesting discussions. The context is as follows,

In order to have a "formal" confrontation, one needs to be prepared with all the necessary material data on the issues. Then one is supposed to have a nice plan to get started with the "discussion". In one of the exercise, one group started with, "I appreciate your work, you have been doing great job, but "

A participant had a very valid comment on this,

"If you say, I appreciate your work, and then say, but , you are actually misusing this word, appreciate. I guess this is a western culture to start off with positive points, and then fire away. For example, We understand you Mr So-and-So, but rules are rules. Sorry we can't help you in this matter. This is ridiculous actually. Now, the speaker is kind of contradicting himself - if he understands my point, then he must be able to help me out, isn't it?"

I agreed with him immediately. In order to save our backs, we at times take an easy way out. First praise the person, and then fire away, so that he understands my position in all this? Then what about my personal integrity? Am I not bold enough to stand by my statements, and be consistent in handling the issues? It's like feeding a turkey with good food just before killing it. At least we have the satisfaction of having done one good thing in all this matter. Why?

In response to his comment, another comment cropped up.

"I work closely with German folks. I have found that they are clever enough to understand the first part of such statements is all unnecessary, and they take to the second, important part of the message straightaway. Contrast this with the Japanese, who would feel offended by such contradictory structure of the statement!"

I wonder what would happen when the Germans and the Japanese interact!

No comments: