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Handling Drama of a Person Wanting to Get Me Invested When Exploring New Project

Exploring a new mini-project with a man and a woman.
Both acquaintances.
No commitments yet.

The following conversation ensued:

Me: Thanks for setting up this chat

Man: Matthew, let's discuss after I send out the email!
Meanwhile, let's keep the ideas flowing
(all good here; I like this guy taking initiative)

Me: I'm not in a rush ūüôā
(Maybe "no rush" would be better; it may come across as I'm not too keen;
I wanted to let the guy know that he )

(Intermittent Brainstorming: Messages Left Out For Conciseness)

Woman: @Matthew (Name of Man) says we need to be up in 2 months so we need your help!!
(it wasn't really what he said & no commitments yet especially from her;
furthermore she said she's busy with some other project;
so I interpreted this as drama to get investment from me by the artificial time span & double exclamation marks)

Me: I thought you're working on another project currently
(Probe her investment instead of talking about mine)

Woman: Yes so need to see how also
(Shows that she is unable to show investment)

So already I'm sceptical about whether to go through with this project.
If I do, I will make sure that our areas of responsibility are clear.
Or I may find some way to work with only the man.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Good early catch!

Keep in mind that these power moves can be OK within a (business) relationship as long as you can spot and know how to deal with them.

Some possible alternative approaches:

UNCOVER

Woman: @Matthew (Name of Man) says we need to be up in 2 months so we need your help!!
You: did (Nae of Man) say that?

Ooops, now it surfaces that she's making up stuff ūüôā

SURFACE

Woman: @Matthew (Name of Man) says we need to be up in 2 months so we need your help!!
You: what do you mean exactly by that?

Now you thread-expand on her asking for a lot of your commitment.
The more she talks about it, the more obvious it becomes that she's being manipulative / unfair.
Then, take it from there. You can even be magnanimous and smile, and then add:

PHILOSOPHER

Woman: @Matthew (Name of Man) says we need to be up in 2 months so we need your help!!
You: Yeah, I think that for anything to succeed, everyone needs to be in it. Maybe we can better discuss commitments and task to reach a fair and effective win-win split

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks for the advice and alternatives!

I will definitely try out the uncover/surface techniques.
They are some of the handiest techniques around.

Keep in mind that these power moves can be OK within a (business) relationship as long as you can spot and know how to deal with them.

Manipulation does seem ridiculously pervasive in business.
So much so that it can be expected and the norm.
I have never found a business relationship completely free of manipulation.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 26, 2021, 6:52 pm

PHILOSOPHER

Woman: @Matthew (Name of Man) says we need to be up in 2 months so we need your help!!
You: Yeah, I think that for anything to succeed, everyone needs to be in it. Maybe we can better discuss commitments and task to reach a fair and effective win-win split

I'm going to use this frame after the man sends the email.
Or I might re-phrase into a question to the team so that she gives her own statement to the commitment:

How do you think we should split the work?

Maybe with some pre-framing so it will provoke an intended answer:

Me: We have different strengths in this project.
(Woman's Name) is good in domain A.
(Man's Name) worked a lot in domain B.
I have experience in domain C.
(Man's Name), what area of the project would you be most interested in working in? (The guy has initiative, he will commit)

Man: I would like to ...

Me: Cool man, I have experience in this so more than happy to cover this role.
(Woman's Name), what about you? (Now she has social pressure)

But, as you have advised previously, there are lots of people who talk a lot and do little.
And I realised that some high-level executives are the same as what I read in Stealing the Corner Office.
Good in climbing ladders, power moves and manipulation but making things move forward, not so much.

I will see how it goes.
Appreciate the help!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on July 26, 2021, 8:28 pm

 

Keep in mind that these power moves can be OK within a (business) relationship as long as you can spot and know how to deal with them.

Manipulation does seem ridiculously pervasive in business.
So much so that it can be expected and the norm.
I have never found a business relationship completely free of manipulation.

Yes, exactly.

Until it's in the "grey area", and not too frequent, it's not necessarily a red flag for immediate cut-off.

Also important is how people react when you call them out on their power moves.

Will they own it, apologize, and make amends?

Or...

OK, this is foundational I think, so it probably deserves its own thread :).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
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