April Fools: Being Played*

There were important tasks not getting done at work. Nothing seemed to work, meetings, tracking sheets, email, nothing. Next step, meet with the manager in charge who happened to be an executive. The first meeting to introduce the issues was disconcerting, there were excuses and rationale for everything. It seemed at times as if we had to be talking about two different people, when I had the realization, the executive manage is being played. There were a stock set of excused used every time to avoid blame and ownership. Reviewing my notes and approach and a friend/mentor reminds me, you can’t tell someone that. Telling someone they are being played is the same as saying, you’re stupid not to recognize you are being manipulated. Ughh. However, the reality is, I needed to focus on the agreed upon objective and get commitment for those items and not worry about who is playing who.

We’ve all seen it. You watch someone get away with a lot of crap and you think, does anyone not see this or is this what management is ok with? Often, I advise to steer clear. Politics. You don’t know who knows who or, as I have seen a few times, someone in actually on a performance improvement plan and management is well aware. In those cases, you are not going to know, yet, it may seem like incompetence.  Get your task done and if necessary point to the tasks that are missed, nothat someone is “getting away with not doing their work” unless that person directly reports to you, proceed with caution.

This last situation made me think, how many times was I played? I mean truly being played when you have no idea you have been manipulated. How would  you know? It’s not like a scam where your account gets cleaned out. It’s more like the situations you have witnessed and have wondered, is someone being blackmailed, do they have pictures. You know those crazy, inexplicable situations. This week consider, have you been played?

**The expression “being played” generally means being taken advantage of by someone you care about.

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