Boris is the smart ol’ CEO of TNW who writes a weekly column on all the pieces about being an entrepreneur in tech — from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. You may get his musings straight to your inbox by signing up for his e-newsletter!
It was simply after lunch, and I had requested for a doggy bag for the additional dish I had ordered however not touched. We have been strolling again to the workplace once I observed a homeless man asking for some cash to purchase meals. I figured I most likely wouldn’t eat it anyway, so I advised my buddy to attend for me so I might stroll over to supply him my meals.
My buddy grabbed my arm and stopped me. “You may’t do this,” he advised me. “Individuals don’t like that.” As a substitute of giving him the meals instantly, he recommended I’d place it on prime of the wastebasket close to him so he might seize it himself.
After I requested why the detour, my buddy defined a homeless particular person is attempting to carry on to their self-worth and satisfaction. Individuals wish to maintain on to a way of independence, particularly ready the place they’re extremely depending on others.
[Read: Why you should never be 100% honest at work]
Although you’re giving them cash or meals, they nonetheless don’t wish to really feel inferior, and so they hate it whenever you act superior. Nevertheless, if I left my meals on prime of the wastebasket, it might be his alternative as to if to choose it up or not — which empowers him and likewise helps him preserve his independence.
Weirdly, it made sense, so I did as instructed. There are all the time energy dynamics at play in all human interactions, and typically you assume you’re doing somebody a favor, however unconsciously you’re simply elevating your individual place. Really, it’s not simply true for people.
My daughter confirmed me a video of two cats cleansing one another. It began cute, with one cat licking the ears of the opposite cat. To me, it appeared like a loving and delicate gesture. However then the licking grew to become extra forceful, and the embrace was a stranglehold after which a struggle.
My daughter defined that cats use cleansing to claim dominance. By stating, “I clear you,” the cat locations itself in a dominant place, and typically the opposite cat disagrees with the proposed new energy construction and fights to wash the opposite.
I acknowledge this conduct in organizations as properly. A praise could be justified and sincere suggestions and reward. However saying “nice presentation!” also can come throughout as tremendous condescending. The remark can indicate that you just don’t maintain the particular person in excessive regard and are stunned with their work. That’s not a praise, that’s an insult.
If you give suggestions, it’s very important to appreciate whether or not you’re sincerely giving a praise or whether or not it comes from a place of (perceived or needed) dominance, and that’s legitimate whether or not you’re coping with individuals… or licking a cat’s ear.
Can’t get sufficient of Boris? Take a look at his older tales right here, and join his e-newsletter right here.