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Five Points Verbal Response Test

  Tactful communication Negative Politeness Socratic Questions Diplomatic Communication Gabor's Checklist
Communication with Corporate Psychopaths Communication with Micromanagers       Etc

There is no reason to rush any reply when we talk with a corporate psychopath. This is actually not a talk. It is a mixture of interrogation with provocation and you need to be vigilant against dirty tricks. This five point test permits to avoid the trivial errors. To get used to it you might wish to assign each question to a finger and close fingers one by one as you check them.

  1. [Deflection test] Should you defect the question as inappropriate.
  2. [Pause test] Did you made a proper pause (10 seconds is minimum). In response needed at all ? (silence is gold). If needed if can you ask to release the question to ensure you understand it correctly and to have time to prepare for the answer (Stanislavski used to say "the greater the artists the greater the pause" ;-)
  3. [Negative politeness test] Is your response non-confrontational? Does it contain sarcasm, "always/never" language. Do not try to communicate your emotional state. It does not matter.
  4. [Factuality test] Are you trying to communicate the facts and only the facts? Convey only one thought in each sentence. Do not provide extra information as it often can serve as ammunition against you.
  5. [Information leakage test] Do you volunteer sensitive information to the psychopath. Psychopaths are great in playing weak spots and provoking you to be frank. Never do this. People have moments of weakness communicating with a psychopath (Stockholm syndrome ?) and in such moment can tell the other party things about which they can regret for a long time. Think about psychopath as other, evil specie of humans: they really are.

Extended list

A helpful tip that simplifies communication with corporate psychopath is to imagine yourself in torture camera with an inquisitor presiding questioning you. It's actually pretty close analogy as he/she is you boss and being a sadist enjoy inflicting pain. Other useful analogy that can help is deposition in a court. Here you can find several useful links on the Internet. You can also try to imitate a robot -- that a very good counter play against corporate psychopath because he is also a robot that assumed human mask -- everything is false in him/her, emotions, statement of qualification, facts of biography he/she carefully reveled, etc.

  1. Listen carefully to every question and make a pause before the answer. Always (I mean always !) pause 5 or 10 seconds before answering, make sure you understand the question, think it over, and only then try to answer; then be direct with your answer. Those 5-10 seconds can save you from a lot of troubles.
  2. Short answers are the best. Do not offer any information you more than asked of you. Answer only the question asked of you, and then stop talking. Do not add any commentary. One of the oldest (and most effective) techniques is, once you've given your answer, the lawyer looks at you as if to say: "Keep talking." Do not fall into this trap. Just look back at him calmly and politely as if to say: "I am waiting on you to ask another question."
  3. Systematically use pause before an answer to weight and reassess your options. Do not jump to answer or reply to anything. Do not attempt to be smooth. This is not a conversation. You might use you watches to ensure proper pause before an answer or to keep silence and back off if you speak too much.
  4. Be very polite and very formal, practice negative politeness. Always say: "Yes, sir," or "No, ma'am," ....
  5. Never argue, just state the facts. Avoid Absolute Words. You are well advised to avoid, where possible, absolute words such as "always" and "never." Absolute words are an invitation to additional questions: never say "never"...
  6. Donít elaborate or volunteer any information. Volunteering information can be one of the biggest mistakes an expert makes at deposition. Generally, an expert should answer only the questions she is asked and not volunteer information. The volunteering of information will almost always result in new lines of cross-examination. It may also disclose information to which counsel otherwise never would have become privy.

  7. Do not, for any reason, exhibit hostile feelings or aggression towards corporate psychopath.
  8. Do not tell jokes or say anything sarcastic...
  9. Keep your composure, maintain your focus and your credibility. Ignore emotional tantrums from psychopath as they are usually carefully planned provocations. They are provocations and are aimed squarely to get you out of balance so that you make a mistake or blunder.
  10. Ask for a break, or ask permission to bring coffee if you feel the need to expend some emotion or situation got out of control



Etc

Society

Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy

Quotes

War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes

Bulletin:

Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law

History:

Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least


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Last updated:

June 22, 2014