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Manage without Manipulation

  • 27th Jan'22

I recently had to attend an urgent meeting before Thanksgiving Day. And since I prefer being on top of things, I had the plan of action ready even before stepping out of the house. It was a pleasant day, as the weather outside was pretty comforting. Unfortunately, things were just about to change. You see, once I stepped into the office, I started getting ready to address the meeting. The meeting started well and things were going pretty smoothly as I ended up having some nice little conversations with several of my business associates over the course of the meeting.

However, during the entire meeting, I noticed that there was one person who didn’t seem happy with my plan of action and suggestion. So, I decided to have a one-on-one conversation with him. And since I'm his boss, he preferably denied being not okay with the meeting. Perhaps, it was due to some fear employees, generally, have of their bosses. But I was intent on getting to know his side of the opinion. Hence, I took some help with manipulation. I made myself comfortable to open up with words and finally he asked, “May I suggest something.” And there was it, the displeasure came out from his side and eventually I was able to sort things out.

So, you see manipulation helps a lot, especially, when you are on the authoritative side. However, relying on manipulation to get the work done all of the time is considered an evil practice and rightfully so. Hence, here I’m sharing my thoughts on manipulation and how you can deal with others without using manipulative tactics simply by learning some ways to manage up at the office.


Manipulation in the Workplace

None of us are strangers to manipulation. At one point or the other, I believe, we all have been manipulated or have manipulated someone. Usually, people manipulate others for their own gain. And you will be surprised to know that manipulation has become a tedious problem to deal with everywhere, including your workplace. It is rare to have a manager or boss who likes managing without manipulation. But most of them will do their best to manipulate their employees for personal gains. Also, the spinning wheel of manipulation starts right with gaining some authority and power.

Power has corrupted the best of minds and can definitely corrupt anyone. Some managers think since they have the power, they can get away with their lack of work at your expense. It is why you must carefully deal with your manager or boss to avoid getting into such a scenario. Therefore, you must know how to manage your manager or boss without manipulation. To help you out with this, I have compiled some critical tips.


Tips for Managing Without Manipulation

Following are the tips for managing the boss without any manipulation and avoiding getting manipulated back in the process.


Make the Manager Look Good

It is common knowledge that if you are in good standings with your manager, then you are less likely to suffer any consequences. And just for this very reason, you may have noticed several “YES” men and women at your workplace. Now, it doesn’t mean you have to join the bandwagon. You can stand out from the “yes” persons and still manage without manipulation to make your manager look good. All you need is to know how to manage your boss?

For example, you can help take some of their workload. You can even behave proactively and let the manager know in a meeting. Now, you may wonder how someone can stand out with managing the boss or manager? Here is how.

When you offer help, you opt for a mutually beneficial path. Your managers get relieved from some of the work, and you make an impact from the opportunity you claimed. Likewise, when you brief your manager beforehand about the upcoming meeting, you display your awareness and dedication towards your work.


Stay Confident

It is crucial to stay confident or take advantage of others at the workplace when you are working. When you are confident, your boss and manager will remain more respectful of what you bring to the discussion table. They will also not burden you with extra work or others without communicating with you. Less confident employees often end up getting exploited in their workplace. They have a hard time declining or saying “no” to work they must do because they live in fear of gaining a bad reputation amongst their peers. Therefore, work on your skill in a way that you never have to judge yourself or live in fear of getting fired for saying “no.”

Set Boundaries

Just like you boost yourself with enough confidence at the workplace, do your best to work within a set boundary. For example, do not work beyond office hours so that you can help your manager complete their work. Yes, there will be circumstances where you will work after hours, but you must do it because you want to and not because your manager forced you to work. Making yourself always readily available for help at the workplace is why several employees get manipulated at workplaces. However, as I’ve mentioned, you can avoid that by setting boundaries and staying confident.

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I'm surprised that more managers aren't bothered by what they have to become in order to be effective in their jobs. Manipulation is unavoidable. How do you get away from... "If you don't do what you are paid to do, you could lose your job." and more broadly "If you do X, or Y, or Z, these are the consequences" for good or for bad. Isn't two people agreeing to engage in a manager / employee relationship a contract of manipulator / manipulated? A good point the author makes is, the relationship doesn't have to be one where the employee is only the manipulated. The employee can also become the manipulator. I think this all feels fine when it happens unconsciously, but as soon as you consciously understand that you are being a manipulator, then you become fully accountable as a bonafide manipulator. To live with yourself, you then have to justify your deliberate and calculated manipulation. And if you're honest with yourself not justification is ok, except a sincere and selfless concern for the person you are manipulating. If you truly have their interest at heart, then, and only then I think you could be justified. The problem is... where do you draw the line? Well somebody very wise once said you should treat your self with the same interest that you treat others. Which means self-sacrafice is admirable, but not required.

2024-01-06 17:21:01