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Machiavelli Lite

It's a mark of my recovery from recent sad events that I'm throwing myself pretty wholeheartedly today back into the minor-league Machiavellian machinations that comprise my job.

So I'll share with you the most important thing I've learned in life so far...you know, not counting all the kindergarten stuff.

No, the secret is not that sexy new shoes and a ruffly silk blouse will cheer a girl up. I just wanted to show-n-tell.

It's this.

Everybody wants two kinds of things: Important, big-picture things like Love, Comfort, Pleasure, Security--which we'll call A. And immediate ego-need things like winning the argument or being right, which we'll call B.

The more you cede other people's B items to them in any conflict, the more they'll let you have your A items. As a side benefit, they often volunteer to take your most annoying problems off your hands at the same time.

Case in point: In a mad power play, my biggest detractor here at work has proposed to take one staff member and two programs away from me.

My B here is, "No! That's mine! Power! Territory! Grabby-grabby." But my A is, "Salary. Office. Time to post to LJ during the workday if I feel like it."

So I said, "That sounds like a great plan!" Then I went to our boss and said, "Dude. Here are two new projects I can take on to make you Comfortable, Secure, and Well-Liked By Those Up On The Twelfth Floor."

And lo. I keep my salary and my office, hand my most difficult staff member and my two most boring programs over to my eager and willing detractor, and win big points with El Jefe.

Everybody wins. It's awesome.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 7th, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)
*makes notes*

*envies the pritty pritty blouse and shoes*
Apr. 7th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Blouse: Bloomingdales online. Shoesies: Nordstrom Rack--Franco Sarto, by the way, and I got 'em for forty bucks. Enveeee meeeee!
Apr. 7th, 2006 09:01 pm (UTC)
you are crafty!

can you refuse to take the problem back when the "mastermind" realizes what a mistake they made in "taking away" those things from you?

also, yay for more interesting projects!

Apr. 7th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
Oh good heavens no! When (note, I say "when") she admits defeat and demands that I take this shit back on, I say, "Why yes, of course," and graciously accept.

Then I go to the boss and ask for more resources. I don't actually do more work. *delicate shudder* Though I'd probably ask for a promotion and a raise.

It's a game. Damn, I'm good.
Apr. 7th, 2006 09:28 pm (UTC)
OOH! New more (hopefully) challenging stuff at work and brownie points!!

I think this calls for the Ass-tastic icon. ;-)
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:34 pm (UTC)
Hee! I am always happy to see the Ass-Tastic icon! Do I want to know what mental connection you made between it and "brownie points"?

Apr. 7th, 2006 11:44 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I want to examine that mental connection my own self...*smirk*

Or why I feel the need to use the Hamilton lick icon after you used your Mal ass one...HEE!!
Apr. 8th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC)

We bad.
Apr. 8th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)
We so are...hehehe

But we had a nice little bit of icon!porn going there...LOL
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:30 pm (UTC)
Hee! Thanks.

And shoesies!
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:28 pm (UTC)
Beneficient subversion is Teh Awesome, yo. :)
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:38 pm (UTC)
Oooh! That's a good name for it. Is that, like, from Machiavelli? Or did you just coin that? 'Cause I'm usin' it!
Apr. 7th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
I believe he has for a term for it, but that's not it. I can't remember what it is -- been a few years since I read The Prince.

Nope, I coined that term my own bad self. Use away!
Apr. 8th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Win away!
Apr. 8th, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
A shorter version of this treatise is: Find a way to let everyone win.

It's almost always possible. And what's more, it always leads to wonderful new developments.
Apr. 9th, 2006 09:14 am (UTC)
I bow in awe.
Apr. 9th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid my mini-Machiavellian advice isn't of much use to you right now, but for what it's worth, I believe that every situation has a win in it.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 11th, 2006 03:39 pm (UTC)
Hee! See, the beauty of this thing is that it doesn't require wisdom. It only requires self-interest. You have to have just enough faith or madness to try it once, and then the rewards begin to pour in like some crazy pyramid scheme, but without the inevitable collapse.

The wisdom comes when you see how cool it all is and resolve not to go back to B.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )



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