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My Journey to Power

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Quick feed-back for Lucio and the community.

The new “No need to be sorry” works well.

I was waiting on a friend who’s also a bar owner for an offer on an event I’m organizing for our committee of resident physicians. It’s a win-win and he will gain visibility and potential new customers. However he was not answering me.

Him: sorry for having forgotten. My health was not so good these 2 last weeks.

It’s been more than a month than I’m waiting on him with several reminders. So it’s not really about the past 2 weeks. So typical “I’m sorry” power move here.

Me: No need to be sorry. Your health is important. I’m looking forward to see it 🙂 (the offer)

I neutralize his power move, empathize and build report. Then I go : “now deliver as promised”. Then he reacted with a heart on my message, proving the effectiveness and smoothness of it. It’s socially graceful while neutralizing the power move.

I could have chosen a different place to do this which I had started to enquire. So I actually gave him an opportunity. He has more to win than me here.

The other lesson learned is that friendship is good. However when it’s business time next time I will create another option to create competition. I wanted to be nice and a friend and this turned against me. Not too much but still.

I understand that he’s not the most organized person and it’s ok. However my professional reputation is at stake here. The other place is nicer as well. So I’ve been too nice here.

Lucio Buffalmano and Kavalier have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalier

I realise today that I consider myself a machiavellian/a student of Machiavelli just like I'm considering myself a stoic/student of stoicism.

So thanks Lucio for that!

The better I understand human nature, the more I realize that if we don't have Machiavellian thinking there are many things that will stay out of our reach in Life. Things that you deserve out of being of value to society. The reality is that many if not most people are machiavellian. They just don't use this word or would not label themselves as such. However most people go around thinking: "what can I do to get what I want?" and they skip morality if there is no control (police, laws, rules, etc.) as not everybody has a very developed conscience.

This led me to realize that one can be too conscientious or too moral (so I agree with you now Lucio as I believe you talked about this). That is, one can go about to get what they want without hurting anyone and it could still be perceived as immoral in a given social context. For instance womanising. Even if you're not promising anything to anyone and sleep around and are honest about it, it's considered bad in absolute terms in a judeo-christian context (and others as well). So one could be a morally good person and be considered bad in some contexts. Another example: imagine that as an employee you give a discount to a loyal customer on a given purchase. It's good for the business as this guy has already given value and will give value in the future. You deepen and strengthen the business relationship. However, if there is a rule that prevents you from doing so then it's considered morally bad (according to this one rule/norm).

I allow myself to say and think this for the reason that I do have a high conscience and moral. So I can see how many people don't. I can see what I'm doing that they're not doing. Not from a standpoint of judgement and moral superiority: out of observation. So I learned to be more selfish as I understood I was not hurting anyone. I was conditioned to put people (AKA the group) first for the group's interest, not mine. Now I see how many people are fooling the group into thinking that they're doing huge sacrifices for the group (credit inflating) and they actually don't.

As I got more selfish, people actually respect me more. My time and energy is scarcer so more valuable. I actually think that I improved my ethics globally. However on small things that have very little to no consequences to anyone, I now give myself a pass. I don't feel guilty for the little things that I do that are not within the rules and hurt no one. Now that I have a more mature understanding of how the World works I'm now very comfortable in the grey area.

I am still and will always be a force for Good. I view it differently now.

Yep, great post John.

Indeed, there are different levels of Machiavellianism, and being too low definitely puts one at a (heavy) disadvantage.

And the forces for good may even need more Machiavellianism, both because they often start too low down, and because growing good crops among bad weed is always most challenging -oh heck, why am I trying to reinvent the wheel, Machiavelli said it best and simplest: a good person is ruined among the many who are not good. That's why-.

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

Now I understand the quote better than ever before.

I have good news to share with you.

2 days ago I received a phone call with a proposition for a position of attending physician in a regional hospital. That is, one hierarchical level above my current one.

The schedule looks not too bad. It’s a 6 months contract at 80%. So it’s just perfect to adapt to this new role with a lighter schedule. It will be challenging and it’s a good thing as my current job in private practice is like 0% stress.

I sent my application today.

I will have a video call interview soon.

Do you guys have any tips for me in terms of content, attitude and power dynamics?


Hey John

Had plenty of video interview lately.  3 offers.

Overall the more conversational the better.  It is a popularity contest.

I often ask them before we get into the detail somebody who worked out really well in a role what were they like.  You can agree and associate yourself with those positive thoughts. And you can refer back to it as your answering questions.

Be complimentary about the role, the hospital your own team mates.  You d think you could lay it in too thick you can't.

Just like dating don't be afraid of silence.  They have to invest too.

Keep answers concise then ask them if that has answered it for them and they are comfortable.  Yr sneakily cementing those frames.

Something I do is give a formal answer then sum up with a catch phrase.  Nobody s above the team.  You can't communicate too much etc.

Asking round a bit and finding something that was win for them and saying you found it interesting because...

When they ask you if you have any questions at the end use it to sum up the role and your pitch.  And tell them you really liked their focus on the team or whatever they pushed in the interview and that you are keen to work for them.

Let them talk as much as they want.  You d be amazed how often they want 80% of the airtime to sound good to each other.  They already know you can do the job it's all about the feels


Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanBel

And put a soft light in front of you. Get on a test zoom and play with lighting and camera angle it does make a difference.  Be far enough away from camera you can do basic hand gestures  - listing points, reaching out to them as you agree on something they said.  LinkedIn has a video interview question feature.

And I forgot to mention use we language.  And when you are asking about the role go into detail day of the life of a bit of re play mentioning them.  That gets their mind imagining working with you.


Lucio Buffalmano, John Freeman and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanBel

Nice John!

And that's some next level advice from Kevin, could even provide the starting point for a full article on interviewing.

On the mindsets side I'd say to go in thinking:

  1. I'm an outstanding doctor and professional
  2. I bring lots of value to my clients and to any hospital/practice I join
  3. They're lucky to get me (not out of any conceit or empty self-talk, but as a natural consequence of #1 and #2)
  4. Given the value I bring, I'll need to find out if it's a good place for me so we can a have a good win-win

Those mindsets take good care of the power dynamics since you won't be chasing or trying to prove yourself too hard and you'll have a normal chat with a natural balance give and take of information.

John Freeman, Transitioned and Bel have reacted to this post.
John FreemanTransitionedBel
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you very much Transitioned and Lucio!

This is golden indeed! I agree that an article on the topic would be very useful to the community.

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Hello everyone,

I have a new success to share: I became the president of the committee of resident physicians that I created.

It was smooth sailing: nobody challenged me. They were even a bit embarrassed that I could doubt that it would be me.

Have a nice week-end guys!


Lucio Buffalmano, Ali Scarlett and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli ScarlettTransitionedMats G
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