The key to getting what you want AND getting people to do what you want goes something like this:
- Make sure the other person comes to you. Don't request a meeting, say something is wrong, or look generally pathetic. My coworker did all of these things. I knew she would because I slowly tormented her until she broke. Don't you want to work with me?
- NEVER get emotional. Don't get defensive, cry, or raise your voice. Whether you are right or wrong, if you do any of those things, you will LOSE. My coworker tried this. She started off the conversation by being nice, yet controlling. When confronted, she turned bitchy. What did I do? Nothing. This doesn't mean checking out of the conversation, it means not changing my demeanor. In essence, I acted like she didn't turn bitchy. That confused her enough for her to notice how ridiculous she was acting. Then, right when she got embarrassed, I moved in for the kill and threw a few truths her way .....again, calmly. Essentially, calmly and professionally, I made an ass out of her in such a way that she couldn't argue with.
- Speed. Don't try to be JFK and win a speed talking contest in these situations. I am naturally a fast speaker but to get the upper hand in these situations, you have to talk slowly. Not Bill Clinton slowly but keep your speaking deliberate. It forces others to slow down their speaking and allows you to control everything from there. If you doubt this, have you ever heard someone yelling slowly? It doesn't happen.
- Don't agree to compromise. Compromise seems like a good thing but it is really a way of giving someone what they want that you really don't mind them having. That isn't the same as getting something you want. It puts all of the control in their hands. It only gets worse after you agree to a compromise.
- When having a meeting or discussion about issues, appear indifferent. While I don't get emotionally attached to my coworkers and don't expect to even like them, I make a point of telling my coworkers these viewpoints. This ensures a step ahead for me because they do care. I realize this may make me appear cold but I'm not. I am simply choosy about those I consider friends. Think about it, if someone was really a friend, you wouldn't need to have a discussion like this with them. Why? Real friends give you the benefit of the doubt and realize you have their best interests at heart. So, if you have to ask and require assurances, you aren't a friend of mine.
- Tell the truth. This coworker I met with actually said this. "We don't have to be friends if you don't want to." My interpretation of this sentence was, "Your pathetic ass is mine." Ok, so now I sound downright nasty but do keep in mind this is the same coworker who did something completely petty and unprofessional to me and is only sorry she got caught. Key here, sorry she got caught, not sorry she did it. In my world, this type of behavior is an open invitation to my most vengeful behavior.
- Vengeful behavior must be handled carefully. Don't make it obvious. For me, vengeful behavior must be handled passively. It's not my personality to be passive in any way but at work, you have to be. Anything else makes it obvious and you will destroy your career. This isn't too difficult for me because I am surrounded by idiots. All I have to do is let their mistakes hang out. A few innocent questions to my boss, such as, "Do you know if Dummy #1 has handled that issue?" when I know they didn't works wonders. The boss now realizes and I jump in to save the day. I ending up saving the day under the guise of helping a coworker (and my boss) and dummy #1 looks like an idiot. How can anyone get mad at me? Usually I notice these things and take care of it out of genuine teamwork but when crossed, the same behavior works to my advantage. It's difficult for anyone to argue with behavior that isn't out of the ordinary for me. Perfect!
Back to the meeting...
- The proof of my upper hand was affirmed throughout the meeting. My coworker started this meeting with and repeatedly said, "You're the ultimate professional." She is talking about my knowledge, my professionalism, and my work product. What she doesn't realize is how manipulated she ended up. Everything happened exactly as I planned. By now you are thinking, "psycho" but keep in mind, she started this by questioning my professionalism in some vain attempt to flatter her faltering ego. She only has herself to blame for the outcome. I used to treat her as an equal and tried to share a few of my tips to getting what you need through subtle wordplay (manipulation). Now, I won't save her ass (done many times), I won't let little things that she does (done many times) and I won't share any of my expertise (done many times). I will become a silo of information that only provides it to her when she asks (begs) for it.
The outcome of this meeting has been great for me. She is extraordinarily considerate and is honeymooning me with her kindness. Keep it up! My behavior changes? Nada!
The best part of this and a true measure of my success is that she doesn't realize she lost. It's irrelevant to me and actually works to my advantage.
If you have ever gotten something without having to ask for it or give anything up in exchange, you won. If the other person doesn't figure that out, you are at the top of your game.
Now you can see why ER is my specialty.