Favours and slavedriving

The question is if you are allowed to slavedrive someone who is doing you a favour. Let’s say you want me to do something for you. I agree to do it, but slack in doing so – either I don’t want to do it and grudgingly agreed, or I genuinely want to help you and am caught up in other stuff, or if I forgot.

The question is if you are allowed to slavedrive me in terms of getting me to do what I promised, and if so, to what extent you are allowed to do that.

If you don’t do enough, then possibly it’s not enough of a prod for me to get things done in a way that works for you. If you prod too much, it can mess up our relationship, and I might refuse to do you any more favours for a long time!

Where and how do you draw the fine line here? Let’s assume we are acquaintances and don’t know each other’s working styles so there is some information asymmetry. How do we solve this problem?

If you have figured out, please leave a comment below. Any help on this one would be much appreciated!

6 thoughts on “Favours and slavedriving”

  1. Real world has a lot of people who appear to be doing favors, but are not. Beware of them!

    If the person is really wanting to do a favor, he/she will not mind “gentle feedback” to help improve the work output. But if you start slave-driving, they will walk away.

    If the person is really not doing a favor, but just putting on a show, anyway you can give him “timely feedback”.

    It is difficult to judge which bucket a person falls in, without years of interactions. So either way, gentle feedback is better than slave-driving.

  2. Given that you are allowed to go back on your word, I have no right whatsoever. But obviously you asking this means there are more constraints involved. So

  3. I think we have no right to slavedrive someone from whom we need a favor. I would just remind that person once and if they still don’t do it – then I wouldn’t push them. I would forgive…but I won’t forget 🙂

    1. What if you’ve asked someone for a favour on behalf of someone else, and are thus the favour middleman? How do you handle this situation (I know this is a hypothetical question, separate from the blog post, but one I faced recently).

      It might help to remember that correlation between A and B and the correlation between B and C says nothing about the correlation between A and C (again I don’t know why I mention this here)

Put Comment