Heading back from vacation recently, a friend and I started discussing how much we had changed since our 20s. We started to discuss the plight of today’s professionals and their ability to migrate through the corporate infrastructure successfully. The conversation started with a subtle discussion based on Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Outliers,” which, so far, is shaping up to be a great read.
If you go into any corporate environment today, you will not be hard-pressed to find people learning the delicate dance of how much is too much when asserting an opinion, a position, or intellect. Oftentimes, the difference between “she’s a *****”/or “he’s an ***” and being successful in professional relationships is whether one maneuvers, not manipulates?
Maneuvering is managing people to get an outcome. Maneuvering considers people’s personality, values, morals, etc.
Manipulation is controlling a situation for your benefit. Manipulating typically dismisses everyone else’s needs and wants.
Truth be told, if many of us had known the difference between these two little words when we were in our 20s—heck, even if we simply knew them now—we would be sitting at a completely different table—or shall I say cube? Do you manipulate or maneuver?