Thursday, April 7, 2011

Honesty is the best policy

I do wish people were upfront with how they feel. It can avoid all sorts of angst later on. Case in seems I might have annoyed one of my research collaborators inadvertently by putting in some photos into a manuscript we had been working on. When I told her my plans. She replied back with the comment that she 'thinks' only line drawings were permitted. I took that as her uncertainty about the rules rather than her way of telling me that she (a) did not want them in the MS and (b) that she was 100% certain that photos were not permitted. Now she tells me that she is feeling awkward and I've had to send a very apologetic email to placate the situation. Sigh.


Evol Kween said...

She sounds like a bit of Princess?

Victor said...

Failute to communicate underlies almost every plotline in soap operas and in many real life situations too.

Geek Buck said...

I read this book called "Outliers" (Malcolm Gladwell) a while back and it covers this topic about power differences, and how it is culturally-affected.

One of the case studies was a Korean Airline and how they had a lot of crashes because the First Officer was so subordinate to the Captain that he didn't feel comfortable taking charge of a situation. In the case of a mistake (often fatal), this failure to communicate effectively and to halt a mistake in progress came at a rather high cost.

Not saying that it's the case for yourself here, but I suspect that Academia has a somewhat rigid culture (particularly with standards and journal submissions etc) accompanying a rather unique raft of engagement rules. And in this, maybe she didn't feel comfortable telling it like what it was... until it was too late, and she's now just realising her own mistake. This is more her doing rather than yours, and really, she needs to recognise she must play ball or the game will roll on by without her.

Adaptive Radiation said...

EK: No, I think she was just too polite.
Victor: Agreed.
GB: Good analysis. Hopefully things are back on track. Btw...great blog GB.