In my wanderings around Twitterverse this week, I came across (what I now understand is) a cult blog post:
It all starts of like a normal blog posting…but half-way through the theory of the Ask vs Guess Culture makes an appearance. In essence, it is as follows:
“In some families, you grow up with the expectation that it’s OK to ask for anything at all, but you gotta realize you might get no for an answer. This is Ask Culture.
In Guess Culture, you avoid putting a request into words unless you’re pretty sure the answer will be yes.”
The author of this particular comment (“tangerine”) invites the reader to review previous comments to demonstrate his (or is it her?) point: it’s easy to see who’s an Asker and who’s a Guesser.
But I think the theory goes beyond these two types, and this is based on my own experiences with friends, colleagues and dare I say it, family. I’d like to suggest two more:
- The Presumpter. This person is an evolved form of the Asker. They just expect to stay at your house. They turn-up un-announced and sometimes at the most inappropriate times. They stay beyond their welcome.
- The Ostrich: this is the kind of person who wanders through life without even thinking about how their friends might be able to help them out. They just don’t even ask. And afterwards you say to them: “You didn’t tell me you were in town this weekend? If I’d known I’ve had suggested you’d stay at our place.”
This theory easily translates into the workplace. If we look around our workplaces, we can find lots of Askers, Guessers, and the Ostrichs will be the ones who don’t display any initiative. The theory can be a big of fun, but as “tangerine” writes in his/her comments, it can lead to conflict.
Next time you have an employee dispute, consider whether it’s all just down to how they ask their questions.