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Author Topic: How to work with stupid people  (Read 2410 times)

40hz

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How to work with stupid people
« on: April 29, 2010, 08:35:24 AM »
Nice little article on dealing with people who don't agree with you.  ;D

Quote
 

How to work with “stupid” people

April 24, 2010, 1:47 pm

On Quora today I saw a question to the effect of: How do I put up with the stupid people I inevitably find myself working with? Here’s my answer:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I consider myself reasonably intelligent, yet I have had no problem surrounding myself with people at or above my intellectual level. I’ve also had good relationships with co-workers at all levels of intelligence. Unless you’re a world-class genius (statistically unlikely), you are probably mis-diagnosing people as stupid.

I’ll assume that you’re not just lashing out at others as a defense mechanism against your own insecurities (although you need honestly ask yourself that). I’ll assume that you sincerely believe that other people are stupid, probably based on finding it difficult to discuss things and agree with them.

But what you’re really evaluating is their judgment. Differences in judgment are rarely due to stupidity—in work, in friendships or in politics. You can’t address the problem until you identify the real cause. Calling everyone “stupid” leaves you with no next steps.

Here’s a guide for what to do instead:

Link: http://jasoncrawford.org/  

You won't find any earth shattering revelations or epiphanies here. (Well...at least I didn't.) But it does provide a quick 'refresher course' and check list for those times when you're confronted with a serious clue shortage.

Onward!  :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 08:57:18 AM by 40hz »

JavaJones

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2010, 12:42:49 PM »
Definitely a nice refresher. Unfortunately I think the majority of the advice is worthless if this appliies:

Quote
If decisions are made based on personality and emotions instead of data and discussion, it will make everyone “stupid”.

Which I have sadly found to be the case in many of my work situations. Points like "Have you seen important data that they haven’t?" are only useful if the data and its analysis are what guide the decisions.

That being said, it's entirely possible that at least some of these situations have been more hindered by communications issues than fundamental differences in process (i.e. not an issue of logic vs. emotion, just basic communications problems).

- Oshyan

40hz

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2010, 06:23:03 PM »
Unfortunately I think the majority of the advice is worthless if this appliies:

Quote
If decisions are made based on personality and emotions instead of data and discussion, it will make everyone “stupid”.

Which I have sadly found to be the case in many of my work situations.


Hope it doesn't apply absolutely.

Because I don't see how personality or emotion can be completely avoided when anything of genuine importance is at stake. Now that I think about it, I can't say I've ever once been in a situation where a significant decision got made that was totally devoid of personality or emotion.

Not that either is necessarily a bad thing. It's only when reason is completely subjugated in favor of them that things tend towards stupidity.

MartinS.jpg

Just because we're not Vulcans doesn't mean we're doomed to act like monkees.

 :)

----

BTW: Does anybody else think that monkey looks just like Martin Scorsese?
monkey_glasses.jpg

 ;D
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 06:25:32 PM by 40hz »

JavaJones

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 06:46:10 PM »
Haha, I think you have a point re: monkey and Scorsese.

But back to the point, yes of course you're right there's always some amount of emotion and personality. I think the quote is fairly accurate though, it says when it's "based on emotion and personality". If it's based on logic and emotion and personality come into play, that's fine and makes perfect sense. The other way around is more questionable IMHO.

- Oshyan

40hz

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 01:09:17 AM »

I think the quote is fairly accurate though, it says when it's "based on emotion and personality".

Excellent point.

It does seem to imply he's referring to decisions based primarily (or exclusively) on emotion and personality. Apparently I missed that nuance when I first read it.

Good catch J-Man! :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: April 30, 2010, 01:12:38 AM by 40hz »

J-Mac

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2010, 10:45:01 PM »
Of course the initial premise depends largely on what is considered "reasonably intelligent" and "stupid". I imagine that most here have read this little nugget by Isaac Asimov:

Quote
What Is Intelligence Anyway?

by Isaac Asimov

What is intelligence, anyway? When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me. (It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP - kitchen police - as my highest duty.)

All my life I've been registering scores like that, so that I have the complacent feeling that I'm highly intelligent, and I expect other people to think so too. Actually, though, don't such scores simply mean that I am very good at answering the type of academic questions that are considered worthy of answers by people who make up the intelligence tests - people with intellectual bents similar to mine.

For instance, I had an auto-repair man once, who, on these intelligence tests, could not possibly have scored more than 80, by my estimate. I always took it for granted that I was far more intelligent than he was. Yet, when anything went wrong with my car I hastened to him with it, watched him anxiously as he explored its vitals, and listened to his pronouncements as though they were divine oracles - and he always fixed my car.

Well, then, suppose my auto-repair man devised questions for an intelligence test. Or suppose a carpenter did, or a farmer, or, indeed, almost anyone but an academician. By every one of those tests, I'd prove myself a moron, and I'd be a moron, too. In a world where I could not use my academic training and my verbal talents but had to do something intricate or hard, working with my hands, I would do poorly. My intelligence, then, is not absolute but is a function of the society I live in and of the fact that a small subsection of that society has managed to foist itself on the rest as an arbiter of such matters.

Consider my auto-repair man, again. He had a habit of telling me jokes whenever he saw me. One time he raised his head from under the automobile hood to say: "Doc, a deaf-and-mute guy went into a hardware store to ask for some nails. He put two fingers together on the counter and made hammering motions with the other hand. The clerk brought him a hammer. He shook his head and pointed to the two fingers he was hammering. The clerk brought him nails. He picked out the sizes he wanted, and left. Well, doc, the next guy who came in was a blind man. He wanted scissors. How do you suppose he asked for them?"

Indulgently, I lifted by right hand and made scissoring motions with my first two fingers. Whereupon my auto-repair man laughed raucously and said, "Why, you dumb jerk, He used his voice and asked for them." Then he said smugly, "I've been trying that on all my customers today." "Did you catch many?" I asked. "Quite a few," he said, "but I knew for sure I'd catch you." "Why is that?" I asked. "Because you're so goddamned educated, doc, I knew you couldn't be very smart."

And I have an uneasy feeling he had something there.

Jim

mouser

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 01:36:59 AM »
nice  :-*

Stoic Joker

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Re: How to work with stupid people
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 05:36:20 AM »
I'll go with Asimov's answer also.