Author Topic: Tone Policing  (Read 75 times)

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Offline Goddess

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Tone Policing
« on: February 21, 2018, 02:21:55 pm »
Being in Project Management/Communications, I've always been interested in better ways to communicate.

I've been "tone policed" before and I have "tone policed" others, I'm sure.  I think it happens a lot on discussion forums as a silencing tactic.  Certainly not accusing anyone, as we all "tone police" others at times  :), but it's good to be aware of it.

https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/12/tone-policing-and-privilege/

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Calm down so we can discuss this like adults.”

Have you ever tone policed someone in a conversation on oppression? Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself – and you might think you’re helping by making the conversation more “comfortable.”

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A key part of tone policing is that it allows priveleged people to define the terms of a conversation about oppression in order for that discussion to continue.

"A religion without a Goddess is half-way to atheism."

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Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2018, 02:59:08 pm »

I think that tone policing is a loaded topic.

People are not used to having different rules applied to them, so while I don't think it's right to condemn people for being emotional, it's equally unfair to invite someone to a discussion and allow them to be verbally abused.

Quality discussions require moderation and as we know moderation is hard.

Offline Goddess

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2018, 03:07:32 pm »
I think that tone policing is a loaded topic.



Quality discussions require moderation and as we know moderation is hard.

Why "loaded"? 

I thought it was interesting because "tone policing" came up at work recently and I also think it applies to general conversations, including on discussion boards.

When I was moderating, part of our weekly moderating meetings was how to teach the different personalities on the board to moderate themselves by posting articles and having discussions about things like this.  It was actually pretty successful.
"A religion without a Goddess is half-way to atheism."

Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2018, 03:22:07 pm »
Why "loaded"? 

Because one facet of this topic encompasses a premise that certain people may be held to different standards based on groups they belong to.  Like 'Affirmative Action', it's a loaded topic.

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I thought it was interesting because "tone policing" came up at work recently and I also think it applies to general conversations, including on discussion boards.

'Tone policing' as a work topic is .... weird.

1. "Tone policing" means policing tone.
2. It emerged as a talking point because certain groups wanted to suppress emotional reactions by other groups, which is wrong.
3. As such, the understanding is that you should offer some leeway for emotional response to certain issues, eg. injustice.

Now, at WORK you are paid to suppress your emotions so tone policing is - far from being looked at as a cultural habit bearing discussion - ENCOURAGED.


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When I was moderating, part of our weekly moderating meetings was how to teach the different personalities on the board to moderate themselves by posting articles and having discussions about things like this.  It was actually pretty successful.

How so ?

What kind of environment do you work in ? 

I'm very curious.

Offline Goddess

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2018, 03:42:09 pm »
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'Tone policing' as a work topic is .... weird.

Oh, I agree.  Tone policing in the work situation was definitely used as a way to silence someone.


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How so ?

What kind of environment do you work in ? 

I'm very curious.

Our work environment has been a problem for a long time.  It's a very juevenile environment.  I was told about it when they hired me, and it's been a battle for nearly 3 years.  We hired a new person about a year ago and she seems worse than some of the ones already here. **sigh**

"A religion without a Goddess is half-way to atheism."

Offline wilber

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2018, 03:48:37 pm »
I don't think it is an issue on discussion forums. You can always tell the would be police to get stuffed.
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Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2018, 03:50:48 pm »
Oh, I agree.  Tone policing in the work situation was definitely used as a way to silence someone.

No, that's not what I mean.  The idea that you can use TP at all in the work place is weird.

How was it used to 'silence' someone ?

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Our work environment has been a problem for a long time.  It's a very juevenile environment.  I was told about it when they hired me, and it's been a battle for nearly 3 years.  We hired a new person about a year ago and she seems worse than some of the ones already here. **sigh**

You need to:

1. Lay down the law
2. Fix your environment by laying down the law
3. Fire people who don't comply.  Show you are serious.

Offline Goddess

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2018, 04:18:25 pm »
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No, that's not what I mean.  The idea that you can use TP at all in the work place is weird.

How was it used to 'silence' someone ?

I know what you meant, I was agreeing with you that in the workplace, it's weird.

Situation:  New person is receiving training.  New person is not doing what they have been instructed to do, in the way instructed.  Trainer gets frustrated after repeated attempts to correct the situation and writes "Arrrrrggghhh!" as a comment on a document written up by the new person, out of frustration.  New person complains to management about Trainer's "tone."  New person later admits that they "don't like being told what to do."


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You need to:

1. Lay down the law
2. Fix your environment by laying down the law
3. Fire people who don't comply.  Show you are serious.

I only have so much authority and firing someone isn't part of it.  I've laid down the law and also work very hard at leading by example.  I ignore the petty squabbling, unless I need to get involved.  It's management that's the pushover - not me.  IMO, they leave situations too long before handling them.  I had a talk with my superior yesterday basically saying You can't give me the responsibility of laying down the law and not provide me the authority to do so.

"A religion without a Goddess is half-way to atheism."

Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2018, 04:42:09 pm »
I know what you meant, I was agreeing with you that in the workplace, it's weird.

Situation:  New person is receiving training.  New person is not doing what they have been instructed to do, in the way instructed.  Trainer gets frustrated after repeated attempts to correct the situation and writes "Arrrrrggghhh!" as a comment on a document written up by the new person, out of frustration.  New person complains to management about Trainer's "tone."  New person later admits that they "don't like being told what to do."

Both people would get yellow flags in my mind.
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I only have so much authority and firing someone isn't part of it.  I've laid down the law and also work very hard at leading by example.  I ignore the petty squabbling, unless I need to get involved.  It's management that's the pushover - not me.  IMO, they leave situations too long before handling them.  I had a talk with my superior yesterday basically saying You can't give me the responsibility of laying down the law and not provide me the authority to do so.

I suspected as much.

You are doing the right thing.  Your workplace sounds unprofessional.  You need to explain to management why this is bad and why it's their problem.

If they don't listen, make it clear it's a deal breaker without issuing an ultimatum.  If they still don't fix it, leave.

You can also go above your boss if you need to.

Offline bcsapper

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2018, 10:26:15 pm »
I recently had a very upset woman come into my office and start expressing outrage at something or other. 

I just ignored her and started reading a book.  She got very upset at that and asked me to stop, but I told her in no uncertain terms that I wasn't going to put up with any tome policing in my office!
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2018, 10:44:44 pm »
I just called 9-11.

Offline MH

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2018, 08:09:43 pm »
I think this belongs here.

https://imgur.com/gallery/hBg2xmh

Offline the_squid

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Re: Tone Policing
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2018, 10:18:36 pm »
I think this belongs here.

https://imgur.com/gallery/hBg2xmh

What’s sign language for “hmmmm” and “whaaaat”?