ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Story of Pi and the Power of Context

Updated on November 30, 2012

One of the highlights or rather lowlights of Pi’s experience last week can be characterized by feelings of impatience. He felt his tempers starting to flare in a few encounters he had with other people. A couple of incidents happened. He had to make a business trip to India and had to apply through the travel agency for a visa. The visa application took so much time – there were so much to-ing and fro-ing with the travel agents and it really tested Pie Sie’s patience. Another incident involved an encounter with the customer service staff at a mobile phone shop after he had purchased a new mobile phone and was looking for assistance to transfer all his contacts from the old phone to the new phone. The staff at the mobile phone shop said that they do not perform data transfers from the old phone to new phone – this really made Pie Sie angry and he almost lost his temper with the customer service staff because he couldn’t believe that as the customer, they were not willing to help him with something like that.

In the first two scenarios, Pi was the customer – so that was the context. He behaved in a controlling taking way when his requests were not met. Pi wanted to dominate and the more others pushed or declined, the harder he pushed back to get his way. After a while, Pi realized what was going on - he realized that pushing harder may not get him what he want, instead it made him more agitated and more frustrated. So, he toned down his words and his body language and tried to reason with the other person to find an alternative way that could still satisfy what he was looking for.

What if the context is different? What if you are not in a role of a customer but a service provider. What if you are the person who is serving the customer? How would you see it? Lets explore this but take two different examples. First, if you are playing the role of a facilitator and second, if you are a subordinate working for your boss. How would you react or respond if you didn't get your way or what you ask for is not granted?

Would you adopt a controlling taking stance? Or would you adopt a more flexible adapting, dealing style?

If I am a facilitator, there are certain values underlying the role of a facilitator and I would work according to those values, even if it may not be my natural reaction. As a facilitator, I would be more adapting dealing, and probe to find out the underlying reasons for another person’s position or why he/she doesn’t want to grant me what I’m asking.

If I am a subordinate to a boss, it depends on my relationship with the boss. In fact, the relationship is the basis or foundation for all further interactions.  

If our relationship is good and open, there is still a power differential and that air of formality between us. If I ask for something and don't get it, I will try to uncover his real reasons (he/she will usually offer a reason) and given the power differential, I will of course say ok, but may press to keep it open for further consideration in the future.

The same person under different context can behave very differently. The context vert often determines how you behave. If you are in the role of a subordinate requesting something from your boss, you tend to behave differently than you would compared to if you are in the role of a customer demanding certain services from a service provider. A wonderful resource you can tap on to learn more about the power of context can be found in Malcolm Gladwell’s best selling book called The Tipping Point. It has many interesting stories about how our behavior or response is often shaped by the context we find ourselves in, often without us realizing it.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)