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Does Your Inner Child Need a Diaper Change?

DiaperchangeIn the last post, we talked about management who impose change upon their staff without embracing change themselves.  Change of any kind can be perceived as a political game, especially if a double standard is perceived from the leaders of the change.  I've shared a lot about management transgressions in the past, and my upcoming book, GUST - The "Tale" Wind Of Office Politics, shares quite a few strategies for dealing with these challenges.

An earlier post from last year shared the first step in identifying the Game of office politics - in other words, what is being manipulated?  The second step involves Understanding the game being played, and we've already talked about the three types of politicians:  Snakes, Ostriches, and Bears.  But it's not enough to understand the type of politician; one must also understand the motives behind the actions.

If one hopes to change the difficult and childish among us, it's important that you change your own point of view of the political situation first.  And the best way to do that is to understand what is motivating the political behavior.  We'll cover six kinds of motivational factors listed that tend to prompt office politics:

  • Gain - somebody wants to obtain something they don't currently have:  power, resources, information, relationships
  • Drain - somebody wants to take away something that exists (generally with somebody else).
  • Maintain - are you resistant to change?  Then this might motivate political behavior.
  • Contain - if you have a cult office culture, you want to keep things from escaping
  • Chain - mergers and building alliances are ways bringing together things that otherwise would not have been combined
  • Stain - damaging a relationship, a reputation, credibility can undermine another in today's competitive workplace.

In office politics situations, we often do not allow ourselves to assess objectively what is motivating political behavior.  If a manager is behaving badly, we take an "us good, them bad" stance and brace ourselves for the conflict (or run and hide our head in the sand).  If we truly want to make an impact on the behaviors of those around us, we need to begin by changing our own behaviors and tailoring our approaches to meet the motivations of those around us.  Taking the time to understand the office politics situation an invaluable investment.


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Tom Haskins

Wow! Ask and it is given! Thanks Tim!
Your thoughts on how to first change myself by understanding the underlying motivations of others are wonderfully insightful and useful. You are a true gem.

Timothy Johnson

Tom - you are such an overachiever, dude. I had to laugh when you posted on yesterday's post since I had this "part 2" planned. I thought... OK, I can comment on his comment and tell him what's coming... or... just have some fun and surprise him tomorrow. Glad you enjoyed the post, buddy. And you're a great guy, yourself.

Tom Haskins

I'm so glad you surprised me Tim. Feel free to surprise me some more. What's occurred by my asking when it was already coming is giving me a teaching story for "how answered prayers make sense" Thanks buddy! Here's the teaching story we co-created in brief:

When we have desires that are not showing up, we think we'd better ask for it by praying. Usually that does no good and we jump to the conclusion that prayers don't get answered or we're not worthy, sufficiently righteous, in good graces, etc. When prayers are answered, we don't need to ask. The desire is "Thy will, not mine". We don't think up the desire, it is given to us. It's senseless to ask because it is already in the works, on its way and soon to be "answered without asking". Saying "our prayers get answered" is saying "we want our destiny" or "we want what's meant to be".

On this post about needing a diaper change, I suspect the cry babies have a bad case of "unanswered prayers". They will change their tune when they ask what to want and want what's coming.


Timothy Johnson

I like to think about prayers and synchronicity in the same vein. When we set our minds to something, it just seems like the universe conspires to make it so. It's great when our will, God's will, and the timing all align perfectly.

And it's fun when I know that my readers and I are on the same page and traveling down the same road together.

Tom Haskins

And sometimes that road we're going down together is a river. Then it feels like flowing, in delightful contrast to paddling upstream. It means we can float all the boats on the water, not just our own rig. So when my life feels like going against the stream or struggling up hill, I find a way to reverse my direction, and there the synchronicities be.
Thanks Tim!

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