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How to Spot and Overcome Manipulation

Leadership Freak

Leaders become manipulators when self-serving goals outweigh organizational interests.

Self-serving goals require manipulation, coercion, deception, and pressure tactics. Shared goals, on the other hand, pull everyone forward.


“There is perhaps nothing more dangerous than a bad person with good people skills.” Bob Burg in Adversaries to Allies.

Manipulators are skillful persuaders.

Context of manipulation:

“No” is the most obvious context of manipulation. Say no to a manipulator and experience things like:

  1. Guilt. “If you really cared …”
  2. Bullying.
  3. Flattery. Manipulation often begins with, “I really admire your ability to …”
  4. Intimidation. “You could lose your job.”
  5. Withholding information.
  6. Half-truths designed to create wrong decisions. They often only tell the side of the story that makes others look bad.
  7. Shame.
    (See the complete list given by Facebook contributors.)

Bob Burg writes, “… if you fail to comply with his request, a manipulator will try to make you feel bad, selfish…

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Development and policy analyst with a strong interest in the arts and inclusive social change. Dabbles occasionally into poetry and literary criticism!

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