The Transparency of Manipulation

by Jay Deragon on 11/01/2012

The word manipulation implies shrewd or devious words or actions, especially for one’s own advantage.

The word management implies a person or persons who control or direct a personal or business intent. Intent means an aim, plan or plot.  A person or persons intent is revealed by their actions and unfortunately there are leaders whose intents are to manipulate others or to hide their intents.

In a world connected and transparent intentions are revealed easily then shared and soon an organization or a person can get labeled as a “manipulator”. When was the last time you intentionally became friends with a manipulator? Those friendships doesn’t last very long because a manipulator deviously tries to use you for their own advantage.

Manipulating Information

An employee of a firm I did consulting for shares the following with me. Our CEO is an easy person to talk to as long as you don’t disagree with him. He touts that fact that he is trustworty and will sacrifice his pay, and has, in order for employees to be paid. He talks about putting customers first but at cost higher that the revenue gained from the customer. He talks about integrity and trust while his operating manager manipulates information to prove his worth to the company at the cost of inflating results with false information.  What the CEO doesn’t realize is everyone sees the inconsistency and incongruity in what the company says compared to what they do.

These sentiments and observations are from an employee, not a manager, who simply is looking for meaning in work and trust in leadership.

The Transparency of Manipulation

You can hide some things from a few people but not everything from a lot of people. People aren’t stupid or objects to use for selfish benefits. People can sense and see manipulation a mile away. As more and more organizations engage in all things social their intents become transparent and if said intents are to manipulate people well you’ll lose friends real fast.

If you are intent on manipulating then do so with the understanding that you may be able to fool some people some of the time but you can’t fool all the people all the time. In a connected world a few people really represent the many because words travel at the speed of light.

You may think you can manipulate people and they don’t know it and if you think this way you are only fooling yourself.

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