Hierarchical communication: The problem with delegating
Even if Guide For some it is considered obsolete: In our mostly hachachian structured working environment, tasks have yet to be organized, delegated and distributed. But some bosses have a flaw: they are narcissistic, manipulative and exploit our labor.
One should ask oneself, which psychological mechanisms become effective here.
- What exactly does it mean to let others work for themselves?
- How are people convinced to do things they really do not want to do?
- How exactly do they actually ask us to demand more than we are ready to give?
- How do you do that?
Time-eater of flesh and blood
Some time ago, I wrote about digital adversaries who eat our time because they suggest we have things to do urgently. In any case, it is almost a vogue to complain about the Internet as a time-eater.
What is often forgotten: Whether it's the Internet or not, the real time-wasters are those of flesh and blood who want to force us with all sorts of tricks to pay attention to them. And sometimes very communicatively. Some examples:
1. Always this busyie
The boss, who asks hectically and in a loud voice for the completion of a favor, uses such manipulative means to make you do something for him. For some things only appear urgent, because the other wants them to appear important, so that you give absolute priority to his desire.
Another method is to persuade employees with flattery to do their superiors a favor: "You know so well - would you help me research this information?" Since many people are particularly happy when they are considered irreplaceable, they are of course happy to help.
2. Hidden threats and other nasties
But hidden threats are also part of the repertoire of such “manipulators” who know exactly where to hit. Statements like "Try a little more!" or "You deeply disappointed me!" hit like a fist on the eye, because not only the factual statement ("You made a mistake.") is conveyed, but it is linked to a rating.
Because if you do not respond to this criticism, the other person automatically thinks you, his implicit message, is lazy, immoral or a bad person. Sometimes criticism and demands are also packaged in taunts and small meanness to give them particular emphasis. “Your behavior is not normal”, “You are the first to have a problem with my request” or “Usually you do it differently”.
3. Implicit allegations
The tip is in inconspicuous words such as "natural", "normal" or "you", such as in the statement "You can hardly believe it!". What is more important, however, is what remains unsaid, namely the implicit opinion of the colleague: "Not only I agree with this, but the majority - and whoever does not share this view is somehow strange and wrong."
Especially people whose perfectionist endeavor anyway is to avoid inconvenience at any cost, this implicit charge is harsh. Therefore, the temptation is great to bow to the alleged majority opinion, because who would like to be regarded as a nerd. Often, however, the social consensus is on rather shaky legs and it only takes a bit of courage to refute the statement quite dry.
4. Moral blackmail
There are other, nasty methods too: moral extortion. People are trying to persuade you to do something because it is said to be common practice. For example, a boss who says, "Please submit your report today - everyone else has done it!" leaves no chance to say no. Because you don't want to be the only one who dances out of line.
This works great to reinforce criticism: "Everyone thinks they are not up to the task" - This statement draws an alleged social consensus: The majority is always right - and who are you that you question this opinion could ask? You can! Don't be necessary and just give the indirect charge back to the sender:
- "Try a little more." - Possible answer: "Make a little more effort to support me."
- "Do it for me." - Possible answer: "For your sake, please refrain from your request."
- "I guess you don't trust me." - Possible answer: “Trust is good, control is better.”
- "You have no right to do that!" - Possible answer: “You have to take some rights, otherwise you don't have them.”
- "You disappointed me very much!" - Possible answer: "I'm afraid I was below your expectations."
If you pay a high salary, you can expect a lot from your employees. But surprisingly, it is often the other way round: the lower the salary, the higher the "exploitation factor". So there are other factors that need to take effect.
5. The trick with irreplaceability
Another method is to use flattery to persuade employees to do more than they should. "You are so knowledgeable - would you help me research this information?" Since many people are particularly happy if they are irreplaceable, they are of course happy to help.
What helps: Don't make someone else's personal problem your own when asked to do something. At the most, give some advice on self-help: “I recently read a very interesting book on this topic - that would definitely be something for you!”
6. Manipulation by questioning techniques
A clever method of manipulation, which seldom misses its subtle effect and puts many people under pressure and takes them by surprise - and you're already working overtime instead of early after work.
Leading questions are those in which the questioner gives the answer himself and wants to convince you of the justification of his statement. "Don't you agree?" What helps: Simply answer courageously with “No”.
Decision questions run in a very similar direction - these are also intended to make people who quickly feel overwhelmed helpless. With such decision questions, the decision whether you want to fulfill a request has long been made for you: “We have scheduled a working group meeting for tomorrow. Do you want to talk about your project? ” And you can already hit the night with extra work.
If you only answer the question now, you have already accepted the claim. What helps: First respond to the statement, then answer the question: “I don't have time tomorrow. But if we hold the meeting the day after tomorrow, I would also like to talk about my project! ”
Stop manipulation: what to do?
Of course it is not a solution to go into direct confrontation with the manipulative boss - at least if the job is nice to you. You will probably have to compromise, because the boss is ultimately on the longer lever. However, those who are aware of the manipulation techniques may be able to prevent one or the other case.
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