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ego (was the value of splitting stories)

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  • William E Caputo
    (Looks like I am starting off 2004 with a rant, how quaint) ... That ... and ... I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some people to
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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      (Looks like I am starting off 2004 with a rant, how quaint)

      Ron Jeffries:
      >My advice to people trying XP is to learn it all, practice it all, and
      >having done that, to decide /then/ what to add and what to take away.
      That
      >seems to be pretty much the same advice from all the senior coaches and
      >practitioners here, all of whom have been around the development block,
      and
      >the XP block, more than once.

      I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some people to
      accept. I have given -- and seen given -- this advice literally for years
      on this list. Yet there is no shortage of people who come here and argue
      ad nauseam, against it. (interestingly enough, many of them later come
      back and start giving the same advice to newcomers).

      I suspect its an ego problem because some things seem generally true about
      the arguments:

      1) the arguers spend a lot of energy talking about their own projects --
      and how many projects they've already done (and often how those projects
      don't need all of XP)

      2) There is a lot of speculation and hypothetical situations thrown out
      designed to find fringe cases that "prove" the limitations of both XP, and
      the advice given on how to learn it.

      3) The arguers are invariably seasoned veteran software developers.

      This says to me that the people who come here and make that argument feel
      like we are telling them that they don't know anything about software
      development, and that we are treating them like newbies when we say start
      at the beginning.

      If this is at all accurate (and I recognize that it may not be) I just
      want to say -- as clearly as I can: that we are neither telling you that
      you are ignorant of software development, nor that it is necessary to do
      all of XP -- we are only saying that for those who wish to learn XP -- and
      how to vary it -- the *best* (not the only) way is to try it as close to
      how it is generally presented, and *then* vary it. We say this because we
      have done it, and we know that XP is deceptively simple with lots of
      little hidden interactions that make it work. We've also seen lots of
      people set off to blaze their own trail and get hopelessly mired in
      bizaro-XP world, and then go on to hate it -- or worse misrepresent it to
      others. You may be wise and learned enough to avoid these pitfalls, but we
      feel the odds are against you.

      If you choose not to follow our advice, you are neither wrong, nor stupid.
      You are however, making this choice for you, so please try to remember
      that when you decide to prolong yet another thread on how XP should be
      defined differently. Be satisfied that the recommended starting point is
      not right for you, instead of trying to convince all of us that it is not
      right for everyone. No body of knowledge, from cooking to kite-flying is
      going to accept someone who has never practiced it, to give their opinion
      on how wrong the practitioners are with their recommended approaches to
      learning it -- and we aren't either. We do not claim we know the best way
      for people to learn how to program -- but we do claim (and IMO have a
      right to claim) that we do know the best way to learn XP. You might as
      well accept it, because you ain't gonna change our minds (until you've
      practiced XP as defined of course). :-)

      Happy New Year all.

      Best,
      Bill

      William E. Caputo
      ThoughtWorks, Inc.
      http://www.williamcaputo.com
      --------
      idia ktesis, koine chresis
    • Charlie Poole
      Bill, ... Here s what I ve noticed: the reaction you describe is almost inevitable for a lot of people - yes I was one - on a
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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        Bill,

        <snip lots of good stuff/>

        > This says to me that the people who come here and make that argument feel
        > like we are telling them that they don't know anything about software
        > development, and that we are treating them like newbies when we say start
        > at the beginning.

        Here's what I've noticed: the reaction you describe is almost inevitable for
        a lot of people - yes I was one - on a mailing list. It's probably also hard
        to avoid in a normal work situation.

        I've also noticed that in a class situation, even with quite experienced
        developers, I can get away with making them start at the beginning. In some
        cases, I can get away with giving them s*it about their habits, if I do it
        in the right spirit - like "Why do you need a hashtable to return 0 to
        NumberOfMovesSoFar() - get rid of that turkey!"

        Why so? Dale remarked quite a long time back that people need to give us
        permission to try to teach them something in order for it to be received
        positively. Many of us take the simple fact of a new person posting a
        question here as exactly that permission, but it probably isn't always
        - or even mostly - what the posters intend. Many of them haven't really
        entered the XP Restaurant yet... they're just standing in the door reading
        the menu.

        I don't know that there is any general solution and I expect many of us
        will continue to have difficulty with folks who want to question and
        challenge before trying - but it's often the same as what we do ourselves
        when deciding to commit to a new course of action. Maybe we need someone
        to write this up in a FAQ for the list: "Why are you treating me like
        a beginner?"

        <snip even more good stuff/>

        Charlie Poole
        cpoole@...
        www.pooleconsulting.com
        www.charliepoole.org
      • Jim Murphy
        ... That ... and ... It could be ego or perhaps something else. In his Thinking Course book, Edward de Bono observes that bright people have a tendency to
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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          William E Caputo wrote:
          >
          > Ron Jeffries:
          > > My advice to people trying XP is to learn it all, practice it all, and
          > > having done that, to decide /then/ what to add and what to take away.
          That
          > > seems to be pretty much the same advice from all the senior coaches and
          > > practitioners here, all of whom have been around the development block,
          and
          > > the XP block, more than once.
          >
          > I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some people to
          > accept. I have given -- and seen given -- this advice literally for years
          > on this list. Yet there is no shortage of people who come here and argue
          > ad nauseam, against it. (interestingly enough, many of them later come
          > back and start giving the same advice to newcomers).
          >
          > I suspect its an ego problem because some things seem generally true about
          > the arguments:
          >
          > 1) the arguers spend a lot of energy talking about their own projects --
          > and how many projects they've already done (and often how those projects
          > don't need all of XP)
          >
          > 2) There is a lot of speculation and hypothetical situations thrown out
          > designed to find fringe cases that "prove" the limitations of both XP, and
          > the advice given on how to learn it.
          >
          > 3) The arguers are invariably seasoned veteran software developers.
          >
          > This says to me that the people who come here and make that argument feel
          > like we are telling them that they don't know anything about software
          > development, and that we are treating them like newbies when we say start
          > at the beginning.
          >
          It could be ego or perhaps something else. In his "Thinking Course" book,
          Edward de Bono observes that bright people have a tendency to form opinions
          quickly and then use their intelligence to defend their initial position,
          rather than keep an open mind and gather more information before
          establishing a position/opinion. He offers a technique called PMI (for
          examining Pluses, Minuses, and Interesting aspects of a topic/issue) in
          order to delay the formation of an opinion until more information is known.
          Rather than try to convince a newbie that XP is the way to go, perhaps the
          best way to proceed with a newbie is to use a PMI-like approach and get the
          person to keep an open mind until more evidence (pro or con for their
          situation) is on the table.
        • Steve Bate
          ... and ... Bill, Speaking for myself, I think this is very reasonable advice. I ve said so in previous messages so I wasn t clear about the intent of Ron s
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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            > From: William E Caputo [mailto:wecaputo@...]
            > Ron Jeffries:
            > >My advice to people trying XP is to learn it all, practice it all, and
            > >having done that, to decide /then/ what to add and what to take away.
            > >That seems to be pretty much the same advice from all the senior coaches
            and
            > >practitioners here, all of whom have been around the development block,
            > >and the XP block, more than once.
            >
            > I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some people to
            > accept. I have given -- and seen given -- this advice literally for years
            > on this list. Yet there is no shortage of people who come here and argue
            > ad nauseam, against it. (interestingly enough, many of them later come
            > back and start giving the same advice to newcomers).

            Bill,

            Speaking for myself, I think this is very reasonable advice. I've said so
            in previous messages so I wasn't clear about the intent of Ron's response
            to me.

            I'm not an XP beginner. I do not make my living from or have any specific
            interest in XP beginners doing what I tell them to do. My income does not
            depend on it and I don't feel a need to boost my ego in this way. The goal
            of my questions are to understand what /experienced/ XP teams are doing and
            why. I'm most interested in advanced approaches that have strong empirical
            (or anecdotal) support and solid reasoning behind them. I'm sure you are
            familiar with the 3 levels of learning. It's not surprising that an
            experienced practitioner is not necessarily going to accept the level 1
            sweeping generalizations a beginner is expected to take on faith. I
            understand that the level 2/3 questioning can be viewed as a threat to
            the establishment. The alternatives I've been asking about are
            not adding to or taking away from XP. They are all documented in the
            XP books (I've given numerous references in previous messages). IOW,
            I'm not exactly being a deconstructionist here. Not even close.

            What's your preference for how I should proceed in asking questions related
            to advanced usage of the practices (rather than beginner instruction)? Do
            you want to me just not ask them? Do you want to accept whatever answer is
            given to me by some specific small group of people, even if it contradicts
            my personal experience or doesn't have solid reasoning behind it? Something
            else? My preference is that I'd like to learn from other experienced XP
            practitioners /and/ not trigger too many memetic antibodies in the process.
            I definitely don't want to get involved in ad hominem discussions. The
            ego-related rant seems to be heading in that direction and I'd rather stop
            posting than proceed along that path. In case there is any question about
            it, I have great respect for you guys and look forward to meeting some of
            you in person someday.

            Regards,

            Steve
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... Steve, I m writing for the gallery. I m always writing for the gallery, with the exception being times when I really go into using the word you , which I
            Message 5 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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              On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 5:42:54 PM, Steve Bate wrote:

              > Speaking for myself, I think this is very reasonable advice. I've said so
              > in previous messages so I wasn't clear about the intent of Ron's response
              > to me.

              Steve, I'm writing for the gallery. I'm always writing for the gallery,
              with the exception being times when I really go into using the word "you",
              which I usually try to avoid when I'm talking to the gallery.

              There may have been a couple of times when you've expressed your situation
              as a kind of existence proof for what could work -- and it is that, no
              question about it -- and I might have wished for more support for the
              notion of beginners. On the other hand, it isn't your job, or anyone's job
              to support me.

              And sometimes in my answers, and even my questions, judging from one recent
              response of yours that I haven't replied to yet, it may have sounded as if
              I'm attacking your experience. I'm not. For the past long time, since the
              beginning coffee shop, I've been on about just one thing: what is the right
              way to do XP when one doesn't know how to do XP, i.e. when one is a
              beginner.

              > What's your preference for how I should proceed in asking questions related
              > to advanced usage of the practices (rather than beginner instruction)? Do
              > you want to me just not ask them?

              Asking is good. We like to talk about stuff. It might be useful to refer to
              them as "advanced" or "fringe" techniques when you know that's what you're
              on about, and I suspect we'll all be a little more careful in that area
              now.

              > Do you want to accept whatever answer is
              > given to me by some specific small group of people, even if it contradicts
              > my personal experience or doesn't have solid reasoning behind it?

              I'd like everyone to accept and adopt whatever answers I give. ;->

              > Something else?

              Failing that, I'd like to see replies that sound like real effort has been
              made to understand and dig into what I'm on about, rather than just trying
              to refute it. (I'm not saying that you personally have done that, and don't
              have an instance in mind.)

              > My preference is that I'd like to learn from other experienced XP
              > practitioners /and/ not trigger too many memetic antibodies in the process.
              > I definitely don't want to get involved in ad hominem discussions. The
              > ego-related rant seems to be heading in that direction and I'd rather stop
              > posting than proceed along that path.

              I would have difficulty expressing how much I welcomed that rant, because I
              have been feeling very much unlistened to in recent days, as if readers
              were just arguing for the sake of it. I haven't ever plonked anyone on this
              list in the biolions of messages that have gone by. But I do not enjoy
              having my best efforts rejected out of hand, often rudely.

              So I was glad to see Bill's rant because it told me that maybe I wasn't
              just having an ego crisis of my own.

              > In case there is any question about it, I have great respect for you guys
              > and look forward to meeting some of you in person someday.

              The word "respect" has been coming to mind as I read this, and over the
              last couple of weeks. No one here has the right to demand "respect",
              whether by virtue of long service, incredible intelligence, good looks,
              outstanding writing ability, great sense of humor, or sexua1 prowess. Would
              that it were the case, as given that list I would surely be elevated to the
              pantheon. ;->

              But one does sometimes want to feel respected, and one does very much
              dislike to read postings which, by virtue of not listening and other
              matters of tone, seem to offer the reverse.

              So if I was in that list of "you guys" ... thanks!

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              I could be wrong, but I'm not. --Eagles, Victim of Love
            • Dale Emery
              Hi Bill, ... Have you asked the people who find it difficult to accept ? What reasons have they given you? (I know that you characterize their responses
              Message 6 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                Hi Bill,

                >> My advice to people trying XP is to learn it all, practice
                >> it all, and having done that, to decide /then/ what to add
                >> and what to take away.
                >>
                >> That seems to be pretty much the same advice from all the
                >> senior coaches and practitioners here, all of whom have been
                >> around the development block, and the XP block, more than
                >> once.
                >
                > I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some
                > people to accept.

                Have you asked the people who find it "difficult to accept"?
                What reasons have they given you? (I know that you characterize
                their responses later in your post. I'm asking not about
                characterizations, but what they've actually said.)

                Do the people you're referring to think of the advice as
                "difficult to accept"? I'm trying to think of when I would
                characterize advice that way. I can imagine doing that when I
                /want/ to accept the advice, but have some reservations that (so
                far) keep me from accepting it. But if I didn't already want to
                accept the advice, I wouldn't think of it as difficult to accept,
                I'd think of it as not fitting for me in some way, probably
                because I have other values and beliefs that I think of as
                conflicting with it.

                > I suspect its an ego problem

                This seems to me to be a characterization that both comes from
                and reinforces your point of view. How does it look from their
                point of view?

                It also seems like a characterization that would leave you stuck.
                If it is indeed an ego problem, you're not going to be able to
                make any progress unless you know how to do something about their
                ego problem.

                I suspect that if you want to make progress, you're going to have
                to understand their POV more fully. That's where the possibility
                of change comes from, because every action they take comes from
                their point of view.

                My test for whether I've understood someone's point of view is
                this: I express what I believe to be their POV, and they agree
                that I've said it well. I think the same test applies to
                characterizations and attributions (such as attributing their
                rejection of your advice to ego problems): If they agree that my
                characterizations and attributions express their thinking, then
                I've understood their point of view.

                > This says to me that the people who come here and make that
                > argument feel like we are telling them that they don't know
                > anything about software development, and that we are treating
                > them like newbies when we say start at the beginning.

                I've asked hundreds of people their reasons for choosing not to
                do something that someone else had asked them to do. In one
                workshop, one woman said, "People might find out I can't do it."
                After a moment, the woman beside her said, "/I/ might find out
                I can't do it." That seems like a core issue to me, very close
                to an identity issue. People want to feel competent. And for
                some people, feeling competent is /very/ important. (Is that
                what you mean by ego problem?)

                On another forum, Brad Appleton mentioned an idea he learned from
                a book by Mel Silberman: The Three C's: competence, control, and
                connection. These are core issues for many people, and if people
                feal threatened about these core issues, you can make progress
                only if you attend to the issues.

                One way of dealing with core issues is to ask the persom for
                help. Ask them to tell you whenever they feel as if you're
                treating them like a newbie. When that happens, take a minute to
                ask what, exactly, they heard you say, and what meaning they made
                of it. Maybe you'll find out (as I sometimes do) that they were
                very accurately picking up on an attitude I was feeling without
                knowing I was feeling it. Other times, you'll learn what
                "trigger words" to avoid, and you can rephrase what you're saying
                so that the person can hear it more cleanly.

                > we are only saying that for those who wish to learn XP -- and
                > how to vary it -- the *best* (not the only) way is to try it
                > as close to how it is generally presented, and *then* vary it.

                I'll bet context matters a great deal. For example, for people
                learning XP in the context of a project, the success of the
                project may be more important to them than learning XP. They
                have ideas (from their own experience) about what works for
                projects, and naturally they don't yet have confidence in XP.
                They like some of the ideas in XP (otherwise they wouldn't be
                willing to try it at all), but other ideas collide with their
                ideas about what works. So what's more important in that
                situation, learning XP, or succeeding on the project?

                Of course, you may believe that learning XP and succeeding on the
                project are compatible, or even that learning XP will make the
                project /more/ successful. But they don't know that, not yet
                having experience with XP. So they naturally rely on their own
                experience, and the wisdom they've gleaned from it.

                In addition to project success, or instead of project success,
                people may also value other things more highly than learning XP.
                Their feeling of competence, for example, or the respect
                they've gained from their skill at what they've done before now.
                Or many other possible values (like the other Three C's).

                So even if they agree with you about the best way to learn XP,
                they may not hold learning XP as the most important goal right now.

                I don't know whether this applies to you, but Jerry Weinberg once
                gave me this advice: Don't denegrate people for not already
                knowing what you came to teach them.

                Dale

                --
                Dale Emery -- Consultant -- Resistance as a Resource
                Web: http://www.dhemery.com
                Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd (Conversations with Dale)

                If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.
                --Rita Mae Brown
              • Steve Bate
                ... Yes, I understand that has been your focus on the coffeehouse thread. That s why I was hoping to keep the more advanced issues separate from the XP
                Message 7 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                  > From: Ron Jeffries [mailto:ronjeffries@...]
                  >...
                  > And sometimes in my answers, and even my questions, judging from one
                  > recent response of yours that I haven't replied to yet, it may have
                  > sounded as if I'm attacking your experience. I'm not. For the past
                  > long time, since the beginning coffee shop, I've been on about just
                  > one thing: what is the right way to do XP when one doesn't know how
                  > to do XP, i.e. when one is a beginner.

                  Yes, I understand that has been your focus on the coffeehouse
                  thread. That's why I was hoping to keep the more advanced issues
                  separate from the XP beginner issues by starting some different
                  threads. That strategy didn't work particularly well. I'm sorry
                  about that.

                  >...
                  > Asking is good. We like to talk about stuff. It might be useful to
                  > refer to them as "advanced" or "fringe" techniques when you know
                  > that's what you're on about, and I suspect we'll all be a little
                  > more careful in that area now.

                  Yes, I'll be more careful. I have tried to qualify many of my
                  statements as being very context dependent. The ability to identify
                  the appropriate context could be viewed as an advanced skill.

                  >> Do you want to accept whatever answer is
                  >> given to me by some specific small group of people, even if it
                  >> contradicts my personal experience or doesn't have solid
                  >> reasoning behind it?

                  > I'd like everyone to accept and adopt whatever answers I give. ;->

                  Ok, one vote for accepting and adopting all Ron's answers. :-)

                  >...
                  > Failing that, I'd like to see replies that sound like real effort
                  > has been made to understand and dig into what I'm on about, rather
                  > than just trying to refute it. (I'm not saying that you personally
                  > have done that, and don't have an instance in mind.)

                  I understand. If you've gotten that impression from me it may be
                  because we've been talking at two different levels. I've felt the same
                  way about some of the responses to my messages, probably for the same
                  reason.

                  At other times, it may be more an issue of whether I accept the "good
                  enough" answer (from you or myself) rather than digging deeper for the
                  excellent one.

                  >...
                  > I would have difficulty expressing how much I welcomed that rant,
                  > because I have been feeling very much unlistened to in recent days,
                  > as if readers were just arguing for the sake of it. I haven't ever
                  > plonked anyone on this list in the biolions of messages that have
                  > gone by. But I do not enjoy having my best efforts rejected out of
                  > hand, often rudely.

                  Hopefully you didn't think I was rude in my responses. I was making a
                  real effort not to be. I didn't see any "rudeness objections", so I'll
                  assume you didn't take them that way. Like you, I've been feeling like
                  my best efforts have been rejected or twisted beyond recognition and I
                  agree it doesn't feel good. I've received a few rants from lurkers
                  about the other side of the discussion. The feedback does help to know
                  I'm not completely wacked out, but I also try to explain your and the
                  others' perspectives. Debate is fine, but I don't like discussions to
                  become too polarized. It distorts the reality of the situation and
                  often becomes personal.

                  > So I was glad to see Bill's rant because it told me that maybe I wasn't
                  > just having an ego crisis of my own.

                  I was glad to see it because I know he said some things that other
                  people were also thinking.

                  >...
                  > The word "respect" has been coming to mind as I read this, and over the
                  > last couple of weeks. No one here has the right to demand "respect",
                  > whether by virtue of long service, incredible intelligence, good looks,
                  > outstanding writing ability, great sense of humor, or sexua1
                  > prowess. Would that it were the case, as given that list I would surely be
                  > elevated to the pantheon. ;->

                  Uh, TMI about the prowess... ;-)

                  > But one does sometimes want to feel respected, and one does very much
                  > dislike to read postings which, by virtue of not listening and other
                  > matters of tone, seem to offer the reverse.
                  >
                  > So if I was in that list of "you guys" ... thanks!

                  Definitely. I will admit though that it can be sometimes difficult to
                  interact with you. I think you know that already. :) One form of
                  respect is to value what someone has to say (due to their experience,
                  intelligence, ...). I wouldn't have invested as much time in these
                  threads as I have if I didn't value learning more about your
                  perspectives on the topics we've been discussing.
                • Brad Appleton
                  ... I think that the resistance may have at least two perceived sources: - that person - that person s organization If the source of resistance is the
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                    On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 02:29:55PM -0600, William E Caputo wrote:
                    > I often wonder why this advice is soooooooo difficult for some people to
                    > accept. I have given -- and seen given -- this advice literally for years
                    > on this list. Yet there is no shortage of people who come here and argue
                    > ad nauseam, against it. (interestingly enough, many of them later come
                    > back and start giving the same advice to newcomers).
                    >
                    > I suspect its an ego problem because [...]

                    I think that the resistance may have at least two perceived sources:
                    - that person
                    - that person's organization

                    If the source of resistance is the organization (or at least
                    if that person perceives it to be) then they will feel there
                    is no way they can get their team or mgr to adopt ALL the
                    practices all at once and want some kind of incremental path
                    for process migration to XP rather than all at once (evolution
                    rather than revolution).

                    If the source of the resistance really is primarily from the
                    person, perhaps it is a matter of ego. Then again maybe it
                    isn't. I also wonder if feeling respected (even feeling one's
                    experience/knowledge should be respected) is really an issue
                    of ego or not.

                    I forget who originally founded the field of "transactional
                    analysis" within interpersonal dynamics, but I think they
                    broke things down into two basic types of interactions:
                    parent-child and peer-to-peer. Often someone taking on an
                    instructional/teaching role does so in a presumed form of
                    teacher-student interaction which essentially comes across as
                    parent-child to the other person (at least according to the
                    theory :-)

                    Often a great many folks will resist by tuning-out or
                    turning-off (flight) or refuting (fight) if they feel they are
                    being treated like the child in a parent-child interaction. It
                    may not even matter one whit whether or not they feel they
                    have a lot of experience/knowledge. It just doesn't feel
                    respectful to them and comes across as arrogant rather than
                    "humbly" knowledgeable - and they aren't about to take advice
                    they perceive to be given in that tone.

                    --
                    Brad Appleton <brad@...> www.bradapp.net
                    Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
                    Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
                    "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost
                  • yahoogroups@jhrothjr.com
                    From: Brad Appleton Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 8:57 PM Subject: Re: [XP] ego (was the value of
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                      From: "Brad Appleton" <brad.at.bradapp.net@...>
                      Sent: Thursday, January 01, 2004 8:57 PM
                      Subject: Re: [XP] ego (was the value of splitting stories)


                      >
                      > I forget who originally founded the field of "transactional
                      > analysis" within interpersonal dynamics,

                      Eric Berne.

                      > but I think they
                      > broke things down into two basic types of interactions:
                      > parent-child and peer-to-peer. Often someone taking on an
                      > instructional/teaching role does so in a presumed form of
                      > teacher-student interaction which essentially comes across as
                      > parent-child to the other person (at least according to the
                      > theory :-)

                      TA is a bit more complicated than that, but not a whole lot.
                      It's also a gross oversimplification of how subpersonalities
                      work, but that's rather far afield for this list.

                      > Often a great many folks will resist by tuning-out or
                      > turning-off (flight) or refuting (fight) if they feel they are
                      > being treated like the child in a parent-child interaction. It
                      > may not even matter one whit whether or not they feel they
                      > have a lot of experience/knowledge. It just doesn't feel
                      > respectful to them and comes across as arrogant rather than
                      > "humbly" knowledgeable - and they aren't about to take advice
                      > they perceive to be given in that tone.

                      Exactly. That's one place where Berne got it right on. The
                      fact is, most kids will tune out adults that do that.

                      John Roth
                    • Ron Jeffries
                      ... I was hoping for two by now. Why didn t you vote for me? ;- Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                        On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 8:12:13 PM, Steve Bate wrote:

                        >> I'd like everyone to accept and adopt whatever answers I give. ;->

                        > Ok, one vote for accepting and adopting all Ron's answers. :-)

                        I was hoping for two by now. Why didn't you vote for me? ;->

                        Ron Jeffries
                        www.XProgramming.com
                        Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle.
                        -- Bruce Lee
                      • Ron Jeffries
                        ... No, usually I have not had that impression from your postings. Anyway, it doesn t matter now, we re on some other plane, I hope the same one. ... Yes.
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                          On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 8:12:13 PM, Steve Bate wrote:

                          >> Failing that, I'd like to see replies that sound like real effort
                          >> has been made to understand and dig into what I'm on about, rather
                          >> than just trying to refute it. (I'm not saying that you personally
                          >> have done that, and don't have an instance in mind.)

                          > I understand. If you've gotten that impression from me it may be
                          > because we've been talking at two different levels. I've felt the same
                          > way about some of the responses to my messages, probably for the same
                          > reason.

                          No, usually I have not had that impression from your postings. Anyway, it
                          doesn't matter now, we're on some other plane, I hope the same one.

                          > At other times, it may be more an issue of whether I accept the "good
                          > enough" answer (from you or myself) rather than digging deeper for the
                          > excellent one.

                          Yes. There is this thing where someone feels it's time for good enough, and
                          someone else, often me, wants to press for excellent. I wonder if there
                          should be a signal for that, like saying "Stop, good enough for me for now,
                          you pushy b*st*rd." It would have to be something subtle like that ...

                          > Hopefully you didn't think I was rude in my responses. I was making a
                          > real effort not to be. I didn't see any "rudeness objections", so I'll
                          > assume you didn't take them that way.

                          I have not felt that you were rude. I believe we both got a little edgy
                          sometimes, but no offense was taken here.

                          > Like you, I've been feeling like
                          > my best efforts have been rejected or twisted beyond recognition and I
                          > agree it doesn't feel good. I've received a few rants from lurkers
                          > about the other side of the discussion.

                          OK ... I do sometimes become aware that there is some behind the scenes
                          chatter on this channel. Folks can only be affected by what they can read,
                          so until it comes to foreground, most of us can't learn from it.

                          > The feedback does help to know
                          > I'm not completely wacked out, but I also try to explain your and the
                          > others' perspectives. Debate is fine, but I don't like discussions to
                          > become too polarized. It distorts the reality of the situation and
                          > often becomes personal.

                          Yes. It is so hard to press on for agreement without causing polarization.
                          I wish I were better at it, but to get better at it I'd have to be much
                          better at listening to Dale and others like him. For some reason that's
                          very difficult for me.

                          > Definitely. I will admit though that it can be sometimes difficult to
                          > interact with you. I think you know that already. :) One form of
                          > respect is to value what someone has to say (due to their experience,
                          > intelligence, ...). I wouldn't have invested as much time in these
                          > threads as I have if I didn't value learning more about your
                          > perspectives on the topics we've been discussing.

                          Yes, I am familiar with the fact that many otherwise capable people seem to
                          have difficulty interacting with me, especially electronically. I'm not
                          sure what is so consistently wrong with so many of them ... ;->

                          Take care ... and oh, by the way, Happy New Year, everyone!

                          Ron Jeffries
                          www.XProgramming.com
                          Yesterday's code should be as good as we could make it yesterday.
                          The fact that we know more today, and are more capable today,
                          is good news about today, not bad news about yesterday.
                        • Dale Emery
                          Hi Ron, ... Three things. First, would it help if I were more of a pushy b*st*rd? :-) Second, there are no others like me. Third, I m not very good at
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                            Hi Ron,

                            > I wish I were better at it, but to get better at it I'd have
                            > to be much better at listening to Dale and others like him.
                            > For some reason that's very difficult for me.

                            Three things. First, would it help if I were more of a pushy
                            b*st*rd? :-)

                            Second, there are no others like me.

                            Third, I'm not very good at listening to me, either.

                            Dale

                            --
                            Dale Emery -- Consultant -- Resistance as a Resource
                            Web: http://www.dhemery.com
                            Weblog: http://www.dhemery.com/cwd (Conversations with Dale)

                            Problems worthy / of attack / prove their worth / by hitting
                            back. --Piet Hein
                          • Ron Jeffries
                            ... Hard to say ... sometimes it helps me, sometimes it doesn t ... ... True. There are some with similar values and messages, however. ... What? Ron Jeffries
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jan 1, 2004
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                              On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 10:55:58 PM, Dale Emery wrote:

                              > Hi Ron,

                              >> I wish I were better at it, but to get better at it I'd have
                              >> to be much better at listening to Dale and others like him.
                              >> For some reason that's very difficult for me.

                              > Three things. First, would it help if I were more of a pushy
                              > b*st*rd? :-)

                              Hard to say ... sometimes it helps me, sometimes it doesn't ...

                              > Second, there are no others like me.

                              True. There are some with similar values and messages, however.

                              > Third, I'm not very good at listening to me, either.

                              What?

                              Ron Jeffries
                              www.XProgramming.com
                              The practices are not the knowing: they are a path to the knowing.
                            • Brad Appleton
                              ... I ve noticed a lot of adults tune out when other adults do that too :-) -- Brad Appleton www.bradapp.net Software CM Patterns
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jan 2, 2004
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                                On Thu, Jan 01, 2004 at 09:37:46PM -0500, yahoogroups@... wrote:
                                > From: "Brad Appleton"
                                > > Often a great many folks will resist by tuning-out or
                                > > turning-off (flight) or refuting (fight) if they feel they are
                                > > being treated like the child in a parent-child interaction. It
                                > > may not even matter one whit whether or not they feel they
                                > > have a lot of experience/knowledge. It just doesn't feel
                                > > respectful to them and comes across as arrogant rather than
                                > > "humbly" knowledgeable - and they aren't about to take advice
                                > > they perceive to be given in that tone.
                                >
                                > Exactly. That's one place where Berne got it right on. The
                                > fact is, most kids will tune out adults that do that.

                                I've noticed a lot of adults tune out when other adults do that too :-)
                                --
                                Brad Appleton <brad@...> www.bradapp.net
                                Software CM Patterns (www.scmpatterns.com)
                                Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration
                                "And miles to go before I sleep." -- Robert Frost
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