Coy Answers Are No Longer Acceptable

by Jay Deragon on 04/21/2013

manipulationYou are in dialog with your boss or a co-worker with the aim of getting clear direction on decisions about a project or even about your role in a project. So you ask questions seeking answers which would help give you the clarity you need to determine your actions. Sounds reasonable. But how many times do you end up getting vague or coy answers to direct questions? Too often is the likely answer.

A lot of organizations talk about being “social” but when push comes to shove command and control kicks in. At the same time these organizations use marketing messages that pretend to want to listen to the customer but when an employee has something to say they are ignored. Worse yet when an employee needs information or clarity they are given coy answers as a means of manipulation. It is kind of like saying “We value our people but only when we think we can use them for something valuable”.

The days of pretending to be one thing and then actually being something else and being “coy” about it are not over just a lot more dangerous. If a company CEO is coy about something, he or she only gives vague statements on an issue for fear of committing to a position or angering his or her constituency.

A common objective that a person uses coyness for is to subtly manipulate his or her audience or other person whom they desire to control. In the old days it was politically incorrect to call someone out for being “coy”. The common defense was “more vagueness and avoidance of answering the real questions.”  Then he/she who had the guts to address the “coyness” became marked as a trouble maker, overly aggressive, not following rules and subsequently a short timer.

We Need Answers And Integrity

Today political incorrectness trumps management manipulation which waste human capital and has been destroying the human spirit for decades.  Business as usual is out. The human network is learning that the old rules where designed to control the human spirit so the few could elevate themselves like prophets of the old days.

This is the 21st century and wisdom comes from the many not the few. Wealth comes from collaboration not control. Human capital is the beginning of all value creation. Strategic capital comes from purpose not power. Structural capital comes from leveraging time and talent not position and people. Relationship capital comes from attracting buyers because of the integrity of what you do and who you are. There is no room for coyness just straight answers.

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