Dr. J.E. called me the other day and jokingly said "Garen, it's not who you know or what you know that counts - it's who you can manipulate that matters". He added, "It is either consensual or coercive".
Manipulation is one of those words that is a dual edged sword and can cut either way - skillfully or underhandedly. When we manipulate things we are considered skillful. When we manipulate people are we considered devious? If there is full transparency - is manipulation devious?
I loved the old book - "Looking out for Number One" by Robert J. Ringer. In it (and his first book Winning through Intimidation), he describes the Three Type Theory. Three types of people (in business) and the perimeters of selfishness. All three types universally want to get your "chips".
Type 1 - Acknowledges that he acts in his own self interest and openly tells you that fact and walks the talk.
Type 2 - Understands he acts in his own self interest BUT tries to make you believe otherwise. "No really I'm doing this for you (or you and me too)".
Type 3 - Either doesn't understand or doesn't want to understand that he acts in his own self interest. He feels sincere when he tries to make you believe he is thinking of you first.
And do all types manipulate other types? Well the math in me tries to understand the 9 combinations of the types for a buyer/seller transaction. (B1,S1); (B1,S2) etc.
I think the best transaction is between B1 and S1 (two type 1 guys). By "best" - I mean efficient, transparent, simple, and neutral. OOPS - that sounds like Herman Cain and the 9-9-9 plan :)