Have you ever heard these phrases at work?
- I had no choice.
- You left me no option.
- Have you had a chance to review the email I sent?
- You made me angry.
- I have to move our appointment.
- If it’s not too much trouble.
- What do we want to do next?
Have you ever heard these phrases at work?
What’s the difference between leadership and manipulation? This two-part series explores this very question using Donald Trump as the case study. In Part One I introduced the topic and shared three of the six tactics that skilled manipulators use to get what they want. Here are the other three, along with positive leadership lessons.
I get a lot of requests to write about Donald Trump’s personality. Let’s start with an update to two articles I wrote in 2016 during Donald Trump’s campaign for president.
Trump is good. I mean, really good. When it comes to imposing his will on others, without their awareness or permission, Trump is one of the best I’ve ever seen in this generation. Webster defines manipulation like this:
Manipulation is to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.
Arthur Brooks, economist and author of Love Your Enemies estimates that seven percent of the population profits from contempt. Contempt is how we feel when we view others as invaluable, incapable, and irresponsible. This is exactly the opposite of compassion.
Contempt-mongers make their living by using conflict as a weapon. They have honed the art of stoking division, emphasizing differences, inviting fear, and normalizing the degradation of anyone who gets in their way.
Conflict was never approved for use as a weapon.
Conflict is a natural consequence of diversity. Diversity is a natural and wonderful part of this world we live in. The purpose of conflict is to create, not destroy.
Conflict has been approved as a viable energy source for creating something amazing.
Compassion is the mechanism for harnessing the positive potential in conflict.
93% of the world prefers compassion.
Who is your role model in the 93%? Will you give them a shout out on this post?
Mis-communicable diseases are illnesses passed from person to person through miscommunication. That’s because miscommunication infects people with negativity; inferiority, guilt, shame, and fear. Forget the basic cases of not understanding each other. I’m talking about getting hooked, and the next thing you know, you’re under the weather.
Everybody has borders they want to protect. Nothing wrong with that. We all build walls to protect those borders. That’s normal.
The problem is, most of us claim borders and build walls that are a cover up for the real issues. These smoke screens serve the purpose of helping us feel justified, but aren’t effective in the long run because of the sacrifices they require.
In Part 1 I outlined three of the six smokescreens we use to justify building a wall. Here are the other three.
Several years ago I was working with company in the long-term care industry. I was doing focus groups with employees on their experience of the work culture and relationship with managers. I asked them about the performance review process. One woman shared her negative experience and compared it to “picking scabs.” I kid you not! The whole room nodded in agreement.
I am reposting this article because it’s as true today as it was three and a half years ago when it originally posted. Last week our team had a mini retreat to step back and reflect on how we were functioning as a team. As we evolve and grow it’s important that we tend to the team dynamics so critical to our success. What we realized again is that what really keeps us happy and productive isn’t the content of what we are doing, but how we are with each other while doing it.
My youngest daughter had a car accident the other day. On her way to school, she turned East onto a busy road leading to the high school and was blinded by the sunlight on her windshield. This time of year it’s brutal at 7:50 AM. Afraid to stop, but unable to see, she rolled down her window to get a better view. Just then she rear-ended another student. It was her first accident. Thankfully no one was hurt.
What a great opportunity to practice some of the compassion tools we teach at Next Element.
The first and most important thing to do is provide emotional support. Few things are more embarrassing and frightening for a teenager than a fender bender in front of her peers.
The most important message my daughter needs to hear from me is “You are worthwhile.”
Before getting to the details or ramifications, the most important thing to let them know, “you aren’t alone,” and “your feelings are OK.” Hear them out and make sure to avoid judgment.
Of course I wanted to know the details. What happened? Who’s fault was it? Were you wearing your seatbelt? There’s nothing wrong with asking questions as long as you are curious. If the other person perceives that you already have a conclusion in your head, they will be defensive. If you are trying to blame, trap, or accuse them, it won’t go well.
The most important message my daughter needs to hear from me is, “You are capable.”
I was surprised by how quickly my daughter started problem-solving how to deal with the sun problem in the future. Learning from mistakes can happen when show empathy and are curious.
There will be consequences. Every action has consequences. Most likely our insurance rates will go up. If we choose to fix the damage to her car it will cost time and money. The best consequences are natural ones, not imposed ones. What most people think of as punishment is punitive consequences with the intention to cause pain. The danger of type of consequence is that if the other person perceives contempt or judgment of them as a person, the consequences are much less unlikely to have a long-term positive impact.
The most important message my daughter needs to hear from me is, “You are accountable.”
So the real questions become, “How will we share responsibility for consequences?” “How will we work together to take on this new burden and make things right again?” “What boundaries or commitments need to revisited?”
Unfortunate things happen. How we respond can make all the difference.
Copyright 2019 Next Element Consulting, LLC
As a parent, I am often tempted to compare my children to each other. Sometimes they even try so suck me in with the question, “Who’s your favorite?”
It’s natural to compare people to one another. It’s human nature to look around and see what others are doing. If you’ve ever made an example of someone, you have used comparison to try and achieve something. While the motives might be positive (encourage, motivate, set an example, leverage a role-model), the consequences are often negative. Here are some reasons why comparing your employees can backfire.