Do you fight or fly when online discussions become heated?
How about face to face?
How is this response/reaction relevant in this dynamic?
Communication is everything- and if we can’t effectively communicate with one another, listen and be heard, how can we learn to trust our partners when we are face to face? How can we trust ‘leaders’ when they talk about things like safety when there is no show of compassion or genuine caring towards those who ask questions or try to discuss their fears?
My friend showed me an article that presented an interesting explanation regarding some of the reasons WHY the discussions turn the way they do. It isn’t just the content- it seems to also be the result of the types of people involved, and how they listen, and how they communicate their thoughts and ideas. I included the article below for easy reference.
In this regard, my questions are-
- Individually, where do you believe you stand in this assessment? Do you think others would agree with your conclusion? (btw- taking the test means nothing if our actions/words are not congruent with the results)
- How do you communicate your thoughts and ideas, and make your words be heard. What do you see as a sign of success?
- How can better online communication skills help you grow in this dynamic both individually and in your relationships/playtime?
Frankly, (and perhaps I am alone in this opinion) I don’t care how much anyone claims to know, or how many years of experience they claim to have- if they can’t communicate in a manner that is respectful, intelligent (that does not mean using big words to bully people into silence, or to play games to cause confusion) and with courtesy, their words have absolutely no impact.
As an adult, I find it disturbing to see how often a simple question or a differing opinion deteriorates into either a personal affront or the opportunity for one person to lord over another. Equally disturbing is seeing the frequency of people who reach out for help, advice and support and are struck down by insensitive, albeit well meaning, comments or, even more insulting- pat answers by people who just like to see their words in print.
Bottom line- neither side can see or hear the tone or facial expressions and respond accordingly. This is having a huge effect on the people who want to learn and grow- but are afraid to say anything. This is not a place to say- tough luck, get out if you don’t like it- this is supposed to be a place of community, right? A good debate can be a lot of fun, but one that is out of control loses people who are interested in answers, not drama. Yeah, yeah, I know- I’m pissing in someone’s Cheerios again, lol! Sorry!
People Who Are Great at Reading Social Cues Are Also Great With the Internet
Some people are better at navigating cocktail parties, family gatherings, and office meetings. And, as it turns out, they are better at the Internet, too.
That’s the word from Anita Woolley, a professor of organizational behavior and theory at Carnegie Mellon University. She’s been studying what it takes for groups to make smart decisions online, and her latest research unearthed a surprising discovery: People who were good at reading emotional cues face-to-face also happened to be pretty good at reading these cues in online discussions.
Even without seeing the other person’s face, they were able to read other’s mental states online, where misunderstanding can easily occur. And if you include these people in your online groups, your group will be smarter, too.
Scientists refer to this ability as “theory of mind.” There’s even a test for the thing. It’s called the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” test, and it’s hard. You look at close-up photos of dozens of sets of eyes and try to determine whether the person is angry, despondent, jealous, panicked, or in some other state. “People who have this are able to represent what others are thinking or feeling based on subtle cues,” says Woolley. “What this enables somebody to do is to really fill in the blanks for somebody.”
According to researchers, if a group is filled with people who are good at this, it’s collectively smarter than groups who are not. And Woolley’s study shows this is true in the chat room as well as the board room.
This suggests that the way we figure out what other people are thinking may be deeper than we previously thought. And for managers and online group moderators, there’s a lesson here: It’s better to pad the group with good listeners rather than brainiacs.
In a sense, that’s one of the operating principles governing the online question-and-answer website, Quora, which is merciless toward trolls and even people who simply have to get the last word in during any discussion. “If you let jerks run the show, then they drive out everyone who is reasonable,” says Marc Bodnick, Quora’s community team manager.
In the online context, people who are strong at theory of mind are better at interpreting emoticon-free text, and even silence. “One of the toughest things to interpret in online communities is silence,” Woolley says. “When you don’t hear from somebody, [you wonder] ‘Are they offended by what I said, are they mad at me, do they not know the answer, or are they on vacation?’ ”
And beware blowhards. People who make your online groups smarter are the ones who will tend to draw colleagues out in discussions, too. As the research shows, “how damaging it is if all you’re hearing from are one or two people and there are a bunch of people you’re not hearing from at all,” Woolley says.
Oh, and there’s one more important contributing factor when it comes to collective intelligence. Groups that have more women, she says, also tend to be smarter. Women, on average, score higher on the theory of mind test, Woolley says, “so when you have more women in the group, you raise the average.”