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Media & ReviewsMediaNew York Post Review #2

New York Post Review #2

Quitting the players' club

By Brian Moore

August 24, 2009

NY_Post_ReviewYour mom said it best: "Just because other kids are doing it doesn't mean you have to."

OK, she may have been talking about smoking dope, but she could just as well have been referring to workplace maneuvering, whether it's blaming others or ostracizing co-workers.

To avoid these unproductive games, you first need to look inward. "It's not about the other. It's about you," says "Games at Work" co-author Mauricio Goldstein.

To get there, you have to be fed up with games on a gut, emotional level, he says, asking yourself: "Why am I playing these little games? Why am I encouraging someone else to play this game with me?"

You then have to decide on tactics, says co-author Philip Read. Ask yourself if you're in a position to "call" others on the games you're playing.

But pay attention to timing and don't grandstand like a self-righteous boob.

"We don't advocate that people go around and say, 'Ah, you're playing the Sandbagging game.'" Read says. "That's not effective."

Instead, start a tactful chat with co-workers and acknowledge your own participation in the games.

"When you engage from a place where you want to correct the other person, it is going to be bad," Goldstein says. "You need to engage in a conversation."

If you feel it's better to go to management with your concerns, back up your contentions with specifics on how the games are affecting the bottom line.

"Show that there's an organizational cost to it," says Goldstein. "Let's say we're playing a budget game. Show the number of hours we're taking to make these budgets. That often catches a manager's attention."

Then talk about how you can do it differently. A good way to do so is to examine root causes.

"We need to dig deeper into the game to find out why we are playing the game," he says. "Often it's to avoid confrontation."

Click here for the original article at nypost.com

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Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.


Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

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