How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts?

post by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) · 2021-07-15T15:11:30.531Z · EA · GW · 8 comments

This is a question post.


answer by D0TheMath · 2021-07-15T16:33:38.839Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Using Slate Star Codex's Style Guide: Not Sounding Like An Evil Robot, instead of saying "I want to optimize X", you should instead say "I want to find the best way to do X".

comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) · 2021-07-24T00:56:00.800Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I like the examples in the guide! Thank you for sharing that with me :-) 
I do say things that he mentioned like males/females instead of men/women or 'a high probability of' instead of 'probably'. 

I'll start working on that!

answer by Aaron Gertler · 2021-07-21T22:35:38.919Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

There are terms like "operations", "management", and "logistics" that might stand in for "optimizing processes" (depending on what processes you are talking about).

It might also be helpful to talk about an example of some useful project you or someone else has done right away, so that people don't get the wrong idea. (To give a really trivial toy example, "I recently cut down on the time I spend surfing the web by taking all the blogs I follow and putting them on RSS — I like noticing options like that, where I can improve the way I do something.")

comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) · 2021-07-22T14:34:40.756Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

It sounds like you're saying that you add examples and avoid using big, vague words where possible? Is that correct? :-)

Replies from: aarongertler
comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2021-07-22T23:45:19.983Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I recommend both of those things for... well, almost all communication, and this isn't an exception.


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comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) · 2021-07-15T15:14:05.036Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

I ask because I like to think about the HOW of how things are done. I think it's a strength of mine (feels like play to me, but like work to others). 

But whenever I ask others about their opinion on HOW to do X / tell others that I want to do X more efficiently, they say something like: "There aren't any tricks." / "There aren't any shortcuts." / "You just have to put in the work." 

Replies from: Linch
comment by Linch · 2021-07-15T21:45:15.756Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Can you give a concrete and detailed (anonymized) example of this? As presented, it feels like the people you're talking to aren't saying something very useful, but I only have your side of the conversation so it might be helpful for us to understand in a bit more detail what was actually going on.

Replies from: madhav-malhotra
comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) · 2021-07-16T00:28:19.449Z · EA(p) · GW(p)

Thank you for taking the time to respond :-) When you posted this, it actually made me go back over the examples I was thinking of and I realised there could be different interpretations instead of just the one where the other person was frowning upon me asking the question. Perhaps, it was just that they didn't know of the answer and were uncertain in what i was asking

The example was actually in a podcast recording where I was interviewing an entrepreneur about leadership, so you can listen to the snippet of the conversation if you want :D