At some point in our lives we have all run across
manipulative people. Perhaps it was a friend, relative,
salesperson, coworker, supervisor, customer, tenant, or
casual acquaintance. Perhaps we didn’t even recognize it
as they manipulated the facts or situation to their benefit, or
perhaps we did see it but were helpless to counter their

The motivation for the manipulator can be varied. Some see
manipulation as a way to get what they want in life. They feel
that by controlling other people’s thoughts and actions they
can also control the agenda. Others look at manipulation as
a way to deflect attention from their own inadequacies.
These individuals have insecurity in their own ability or have
failed to properly execute tasks to which they were
responsible. They manipulate the situation by calling
attention to problems in other areas so that the troubles in
their areas are overlooked. Still other manipulators are
factual manipulators. They take statistics to paint a picture to
arrive at a conclusion they may believe is right, even though
it is very wrong. In many cases these manipulators are
passive and unaware of their error until it is pointed out to
them, but by that time they have committed to the incorrect
conclusion and will defend it rather than to admit the mistake.

In his book,
In Sheep’s Clothing, Dr. George Simon states
that all of us have used manipulation at some point in our
lives. But he insists that does not make us all manipulators.
He cites manipulators as those that habitually and
aggressively manipulate. According to Simon, “The tactics
of deceit, manipulation and control are a steady diet for
covert-aggressive personality. It's the way they prefer to deal
with others and to get the things they want in life.”

The key to working with manipulators is to recognize their
behavior and deal with it. Robert Bacal, author of
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dealing with Difficult People says
the critical message is “it isn’t going to with me.” The
manipulator seeks those that they control and you have to
position yourself away from the target of their behavior
through the proper actions early in their game.

In many
workplace cultures a bad employee is dealt with by
their manager working hard to get them transferred to
another department. They forget the manipulative individual
will then be working against them as they twist facts to make
their new department outshine their old area. Therefore it is
imperative for managers to deal directly with the
manipulative person directly.

This book is ideal for:
In Sheep's Clothing
Dealing with manipulators
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