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Skillful manipulators of Rebels, Fools, and Backstabbers… What are these techniques?

Let others do the dirty jobs?

If you refrain from doing your due diligence to know what you want and who are you, others will decide for you. And they know how to manipulate you successfully through your entire life.

12 Manipulations of Rebels, Fools, and Backstabbers

Novice manipulators are obvious.

Skillful manipulators come off as kind and helpful.

Avoid being manipulated by spotting the strategies used by manipulators.

Strategic manipulation:

#1. Pretend you agree when you disagree.

#2. Pretend to help when you intend to harm.

#3. Make self-service look generous.

12 specific manipulations:

  1. Use questions as resistance. If you don’t want to take on a task, question it to death. Pretend you want to help but you need greater clarity or instruction.
  2. Feign weakness to avoid undesirable tasks. “I’m not sure how to do that.” After feigning weakness, ask lots of questions.
  3. Create tension between others to avoid responsibility. Skillful manipulators drive wedges between people. “He doesn’t like you.” “She’s after your job.”
  4. Question motives to undermine management. “They’re doing this to make their own lives easier.” A questioned motive attacks another’s character and intention.
  5. Use compassion to gain compliance. Have you been manipulated into doing something because a manipulator spoke softly or expressed hurt feelings? A backstabber might say, “I’m so sorry they took advantage of you.”
  6. Raise your voice so others will lower theirs. Rebels love to rage to silence opposition.
  7. Use the compassion of the tenderhearted against them. “Don’t you care for me?”
  8. Talk about what you plan to do when you’re asked what you’ve done.
  9. Use aspiration to hold people back. “If you hang in there, the next promotion is yours.”
  10. Use flattery to hold back others. “You’re so talented I can’t afford to lose you right now.”
  11. Affirm and then attack suggestions and new ideas quickly so you don’t have to change. “This is a great idea, but…”
  12. Seek advice from people who confirm your decisions. (Foolish self-manipulation)

What manipulations have you seen?

How might leaders deal with manipulators?

Bonus material:

Simple Sabotage (Book)

10 Ways to Deal with Two-Faced Backstabbers (Leadership Freak)

 

Beware of total confidence in your “expert intuition”

EXPERT INTUITION? Kind of confident in your conjecture?

Posted  on: November 19, 2018

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Nobel Prize in psychology, ON EXPERT INTUITION

You can always find reasons to support your decisions.

Call it plain luck when your intuitions are right while the situation is volatile.

The challenge of intuition is you think it’s right before it’s examined. When you have an intuition, you don’t have other intuitions. You have confidence.

The danger of going with your gut is it feels right without reason.

Dangerous intuition:

“In general, confidence is a very poor cue to accuracy. Intuitions come to your mind with considerable confidence and there is no guarantee that they’re right. Intuitions that are completely wrong also come to mind with great confidence.” Daniel Kahneman – World Business Forum 2018 (Kahneman is a psychology researcher who received a Nobel Prize)

The development of expert intuitions:

When the following conditions are present, people develop expert intuition.

#1. There must be some regularity in the world.

You might feel that the numbers you picked will win the lottery, but lottery-intuition is useless.

People who pick stocks work in a volatile unpredictable world. Their intuitions are useless. The stock market is not sufficiently regular to support the development of expert intuition.

Chess players and married people have high regularity.

#2. Lots of practice.

Novices may have a feeling about a decision, but you need lots of practice before you should trust your gut. Many events that are right feel wrong to novices.

Remember that #1 above must also be true. Lots of practice in a highly volatile environment doesn’t develop expert intuition.

#3. Immediate feedback.

You need to quickly see the result of decisions or actions in order to develop expert intuition. Did your decision turn out as anticipated, not months, but hours or days later?

Generally, confidence and accuracy of intuition are at best loosely related.

The danger of intuition is a premature decision.

Kahneman’s tips on intuition:

  1. Delay intuition.
  2. Be systematic about collecting data.

What suggestions do you have for developing expert intuition?

How can leaders learn to examine their intuitions?

This post is based on Daniel Kahneman’s presentation at the World Business Forum in New York City 2018.

Note: I read many research articles of Kahneman when taking graduate courses in experimental psychology around 1988.

 

THE TWO BIGGEST LIES LEADERS BELIEVE

Dan Rockwell. November 29, 2019

Teams suffer when leaders believe lies.

Most people won’t speak up when you’re convinced lies are truths.

The worst lies leaders believe are the ones they tell themselves.

The two biggest lies leaders believe:

Lie #1. I am a good listener.

Any leader who always needs to be right gets dumber as time passes.

Listening to learn includes willingness to change.

But having authority makes learning and changing a challenge. People in authority tend to believe that position elevates IQ.

Alan Alda put it best, “Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.”

5 commitments:

#1. Choose to show respect. Few acts show respect better than real listening. Respect the talent and perspective of people who live in the trenches.

#2. Adopt a learner’s posture. Listening to learn is real listening. Listening to persuade is  manipulation.

Ask yourself, “What can I learn?”

Accountability question: What did you learn today?

#3. Explore what is right, before proving what is wrong.

Leadership is adversarial when the goal of listening is to prove someone wrong and convince them you are right.

#4. Dedicate yourself to curiosity.

Plan your next question, not your next statement.

#5. Devote yourself to the practice of empathy. You haven’t listened until people feel understood.

Leaders often listen to solve, refute, or explain. But when you listen to make people feel understood, everything changes. You explain less and take another’s perspective more.

Lie #2. I don’t have a problem with arrogance.

Humility is pursued, but never attained.

The second lie is at the root of the first. Arrogance doesn’t listen.

Arrogance crouches at the door waiting to:

  1. Encourage a closed mind.
  2. Preach self-sufficiency.
  3. Bolster superiority.

Any leader who doesn’t grapple with arrogance is self-deceived.

If you’d like to experience the power of humility, make the five commitments of a listener.

What lies do leaders believe?

How might leaders navigate the challenge of self-deception?

 

HOW can NEGATIVE IMPULSE (anger, isolation…) TRIGGERS POSITIVE RESPONSE?

Negative impulses are useful when they produce positive results. Redirect negative impulses toward positive actions. (Easy saying, hard to change behavior?)

#1. Anger – Openness: Stop resisting anger. Use it for good.

Angry people think they’re right. You know the embarrassment of being angry and discovering you’re wrong. Redirect anger to openness.

Redirect anger from your mouth to your ears. What do you need to hear, not what do you need to say.

Angry people have caveman IQs. Curiosity, openness, and creativity sit on the sidelines until you chill out.

Use anger as a trigger to take a fifteen minute walk around the block.

Angry people want others to change. Use anger to explore how you might change.

Angry people want something to stop. What should YOU start?

Angry people know what they don’t like. What do you want and why does it matter?

Angry people want control. What might you let go?

#2. Bragging – Honoring:

Take all the credit if your goal is to deflate and de-energize. Every time you feel like bragging, honor someone.

Instead of taking all the credit, give all the credit. Never bask. Always reflect.

Would you give your best energy to a leader who takes credit or gives credit?

#3. Complaining – Responsibility.

Complainers are good at three things.

  1. Explaining what they don’t like.
  2. Describing what others should do. “You should.”
  3. Avoiding personal responsibility. “It’s not my fault.” Complainers never complain about the stupid things they do.

The difference between complaining and responsibility is solution. Redirect complaint-making to solution-finding.

#4. Isolation – Courage.

Use isolation as a trigger for courage. Step toward things you want to avoid.

The difference between isolation and courage is purpose.

Isolation is self-serving. Purpose provides a reason to step out.

What negative temptation might become a trigger that produces positive results?

Bonus re-directions:

  1. Worry – Preparation.
  2. Nitpicking last time – Reaching higher next time.
  3. Isolation – Connection.
  4. Solving FOR – Solving WITH.

Bonus material:

How Negative Leaders Become Positive Today (Leadership Freak)

What are Negative Emotions and How to Control Them? (PPP)

Why Negative Emotions Aren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them) (Life Hack)

Can’t advise on quickness of providing “solutions” devoid of the context of the job

Dan Rockwell wrote this piece opting for slowly solving problems.

REJECT FAST SOLUTIONS – SOLVE PROBLEMS SLOWLY

Reject first solutions unless the barn is on fire.

Fast-solution leaders:

#1. Fast solution done over working on creative solutions.

Choosing the fast solution restores the status quo.

Creativity is the ability to reject first answers and endure the awkwardness of ignorance.

Rise above, “Just get it done.” Embrace the frustration caused by pursuing creative solutions.

#2. Complain that people don’t think for themselves.

Leaders who solve problems FOR people are the ones ending up doing all the thinking.

#3. Have low ownership teams. Make room for teams to own their problems.

“When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved.” Jocko Willink

#4. Slow progress. Everyone learns to wait for your solution when you’re the solution-giving leader.

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.” Bansky

Teach your team to beg forgiveness, rather than ask permission by:

  1. Embedding organizational values in everyone’s head and heart.
  2. Honoring responsible failure.
  3. Taking responsibility when higher ups complain.
  4. Discussing and establishing boundaries to freedom.
  5. Ask, “What would you do?” And say, “Go do that.” (Unless it will cause damage.)

The more problems you solve, the more frequently people come to you for solutions.

Before you become a leader, solve every problem YOU can. After you become a leader, help others solve every problem THEY can.

4 ways to solve problems slowly:

  1. Enter conversations as a curious learner, not a closed knower.
  2. Realize the pain point might be a symptom, not the problem.
  3. Explore origins. When did this problem begin? What have we been doing or not doing that brought us to this situation?
  4. Develop three possible solutions before making decisions. “And what else might we try?”

“Be quick but don’t hurry.” John Wooden

What benefits might result from solving problems slowly?

 

SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHESIA

Can “Feeling good day” justify incompetence?

“My husband says a conversation with Dan is like surgery without anesthesia.” (During a birthday party for a long-time coaching client.)

People don’t tell leaders the truth. They imagine what you want to hear and tell you that. They want to:

  1. Protect feelings. Feeling good justifies incompetence – when feelings rule the day.
  2. Shield status, both yours and theirs. You don’t bring up the frailties of the queen to her face, especially if she signs your paycheck.
  3. Ingratiate themselves. Power invites groveling from those who seek personal advantage.
  4. Avoid conflict.

Conflict avoidance people:

#1. Change the subject.

When you ask a question, people answer a different question. You might ask, “Do you think I’m too blunt?” The answer, “I think you’re kind.”

#2. Ignore issues.

It’s easier to turn your head than to bring up a tough issue.

When was the last time a team member brought up YOUR poor performance?

#3. Withdraw.

The people you need to hear – front-line employees – are avoiding you.

The person with high position is responsible to move first. You go to them. They won’t come to you.

Self-surgery:

What are you NOT doing that might have negative consequences? Stop blaming and take responsibility.

What are you doing that makes it difficult for people to speak hard truths?

How might you seek input and feedback?

How has input from others caused you to adapt the way you think about yourself?

Illustration:

A coaching client shared what he planned to say to his board. When he was done, I said, “You’re better than that. Let’s try again.”

People rise to challenges.

Encouragement matters. But you go further if you occasionally hear hard truths.

What might leaders do to better hear the truth about themselves?

Bonus material:

The more people prepare for your visit, the more lies you hear. Everyone’s office is clean. The ‘little people’ smile and bow until you leave.

9 Things You Should Know About Liars (Science of People)

How to Tell if Someone is Lying to You, According to Body Language Experts (Time)

What having Heart has to do with potential success?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

Failing is easy: You are chasing urgency and neglecting priorities.

By Dan Rockwell?

Success is found by passionately doing what matters most. The thing that matters most for leaders is building other leaders.

Who:

  1. Avoid Model T’s. Before driving a Model T you crank it to get it started. If you have to convince, cajole, or constantly crank someone to get them going, that’s all you’ll ever do. You’ll crank them – they’ll sputter – you’ll crank them again the next time. Failing is easy – spend your time cranking.
  2. Passion first. Find the most passionate people available and throw gas on their fire.
  3. Potential second. Potential seduces leaders who are dedicated to developing leaders. You see someone with talent, skills, and/or education and you start drooling like a dog at a dish. Potential apart from passion is constant frustration and ultimate disappointment.
  4. Respect matters. The more they respect you the more impact you’ll have.
  5. Practice trumps theory. Talking is useful but action matters most.Go with people prone to act.
  6. The sandbox principle. How well do they play with others?

The rule of the needle:

When it comes to people, there’s never perfect clarity regarding who to coach, mentor, and/or teach.

Ask yourself, “Are they passionate?” If the needle tips to yes, ask, “Do they have potential in this area?” If the answer is yes, ask, “Are they prone to action?” etc.

The needle determines what or who matters most. It doesn’t point to perfection or create certainty.

Waiting for certainty and perfection wastes time and stalls progress. The needle indicates likelihood of success.

How do you determine what matters most?

How do you identify people you plan to develop?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

“You’re a man with heart. I’m glad to know you.”

Heart means:

  1. Tender heart compassion. When I want to help someone in the community, Doug says, “How much do you need, Dan?”
  2. Truthful transparency. It takes confidence, self-awareness, and honesty to share true feelings.
  3. Profound commitment to service. Every person who fills out a customer complaint, and there aren’t many, gets a call from Doug.
  4. Dedication to people. He enjoys pointing out how long “his people” have been with him.
  5. High standards.
  6. Curiosity. It’s not unusual for Doug to say, “Dan, tell me about your blog.”
  7. Weaknesses. Doug doesn’t pretend he has it all together.

I’ve seen childlike enthusiasm twinkle in his eyes and heard flashes of frustration in his voice. It’s all heart.

People with heart: (From the LF facebook page).

  1. Admit their mistakes.
  2. Understand feelings.
  3. Laugh at themselves.
  4. Protect relationships.

More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

Losing you:

Losing you is dangerously easy. Leaders who’ve lost themselves:

  1. Are controlled by others. If you don’t know who you are someone else controls you.
  2. Feel pushed around by pressure.
  3. Pursue success rather than significance.
  4. Follow trends rather than principles.
  5. End up crushed by criticism or crushing their critics.

Finding a heartbeat:

  1. Take a walk and think your own thoughts; forget what others think.
  2. Explore your joys. What makes you deeply happy?
  3. Examine your anger. Values often drive anger.
  4. Love deeply.
  5. Serve wholeheartedly.
Richness of life and leadership depend on finding and living with heart.

 How can leaders find heart?

How have you found heart?

What Loyalty, Heart, and likelihood of success have to do with Leadership?

Few things are more devastating than being used and abused by those you support.

Disloyalty burns like no other burn. Disloyalty demoralizes.

Loyalty for loyalties sake is foolish: Calling for loyalty demands reciprocity.

By Dan Rockwell

Strength:

The strength of an organization is expressed by the loyalty of its people. Military organizations thrive because members disadvantage themselves for the advantage of others, for example.

Giving:

Sacrifice of life calls for loyalty to the fallen. “No man left behind,” is the flip side of, “Give your life for the cause.”

If you want loyalty, give it.

Have you ever heard the bull crap line, “I need you too much to promote you?” Never be loyal to those who are disloyal.

Expression:

Loyalty is seen when:

  1. Gossip is rejected. All gossip is disloyalty.
  2. Serving others rises above serving self.
  3. Disagreement is encouraged and honored. People who won’t engage in constructive disagreement believe they’ll be thrown under the bus when it’s convenient.
  4. People own decisions even if they disagreed.
  5. Everyone is held to consistent standards. Those higher in organizations never enjoy benefit at the expense of others.
  6. Leaders take blame and share credit.

Sacrifice:

Disadvantaging self for others isn’t sacrifice when values align, it’s an honor. Standing for something enables you to stand-with.

Mistakes:

Loyalty is best seen in the context of mistakes and short-comings. Few things stir the soul more than standing with someone who fell short.

Stand with those who acknowledge mistakes and make corrections. Reject those who hide mistakes and persist.

Standing “with” demonstrates and invites loyalty.

Few things bring out the best in others more than loyalty. Who are you standing with? Who stands with you?

How and when do you express loyalty?

Have you seen loyalty at work?

 

 

THE TRUE VALUE OF PERSISTENT PROBLEMS AND NAGGING DISTRESS

By Dan Rockwell

Problems are spiny gifts wrapped in sandpaper.

It’s foolish to wish for problem-free leadership.

The four benefits of persistent problems:

#1. The prospect of becoming your best self.

“Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do.” Francis Hesselbein.

Discomfort and distress are the hammer and anvil of becoming.

Personal growth gives meaning to persistent problems because problems help you become yourself.

“Leadership is synonymous with becoming yourself…” Warren Bennis

Becoming yourself requires conversations with the problems you face.

Two questions to ask nagging problems and recurring distress:

  1. Why are you here?
  2. Who are you calling me to become?

You lose yourself when solving problems is all you think about.

#2. The potential of an open mind.

An open mind reflects the potential of a new future. But the promise of a closed mind is repetition.

You aren’t open minded if you haven’t recently changed your mind.

Persistent problems are useful when you:

  1. Acknowledge you don’t know. Potential begins with knowing you don’t know.
  2. Practice curiosity longer than others.
  3. Rise above, “I’m right,” and allow others to be right.
  4. Try new things.

#3. The power of choosing your attitude.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Victor Frankel

The difference between success and failure is the attitude you choose toward the road ahead.

#4. The possibilities from taking action.

Personal development is the result of action, not simply contemplation. As you act, do three things.

  1. Work on yourself.
  2. Open your mind.
  3. Choose your attitude.

Arrogance short-circuits growth because it blames, excuses, and pretends.

Humility fuels growth because it accepts reality, takes responsibility, includes others, and doesn’t need to be right.

The value of a problem is the opportunity it creates.

How might problems and distress be the tools of authenticity?

What benefits do persistent problems offer?

What is discouraging you? Should you be “encouraged” and for what…?

Dan Rockwell is intent on encouraging people in 10 ways.

“Performance improves when people feel encouraged and declines when they’re discouraged or hopeless: Leaders who lift get further than those who push down”.

You don’t have to beat up high-performers – they do it to themselves – lift them instead.

All successful leaders encourage; they fill people with hope.

The added responsibility of encouraging others may discourage you, especially if you aren’t good at it.

10 Ways to encourage others:

  1. Encourage in private. The more people are involved the more likely they’ll feel a need to posture and protect.
  2. Agree with their feelings. Never minimize or correct. “Oh it’s not that bad,” is demeaning not encouraging.
  3. Break obstacles and challenges into bite-size pieces.
  4. Use questions. “Do you think you can deliver your report this afternoon.” Progress encourages.
  5. Remove a weight or responsibility, temporarily. Warning: some discouraged people need a new challenge.
  6. Explain their value. “You’re the best (fill in the blank) we have.”
  7. Get on their level. Avoid speaking as a superior.
  8. Encourage rest. “Why don’t you take a couple days off?” Lombardi said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
  9. Let them talk.
  10. ????

Facebook contributors say leaders who encourage:

  1. Give people challenging assignments and check them periodically.
  2. Lead by example and practice what you preach.
  3. Communicate clearly and follow through.
  4. Recognize and reward progress.

More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

A big one:

Have you argued with a discouraged person attempting to change their feelings? It’s futile. Confrontation closes discouraged people down.

Accepting people as they are – even if you must challenged negative behaviors – allows them to open the door to your encouragements.

Prevent discouragement in the first place:

Deal with discouragement before it happens by being a positive leader.

  1. Spend more time affirming and less time correcting.
  2. Give public acknowledgement, gratitude, and praise.
  3. Be available.

What techniques help you encourage discouraged people?


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