How Manipulators Get You to Buy into Their Bad Ideas

Manipulators are skilled at presenting their ideas in a way that makes them seem appealing, even when those ideas may not be in the best interest of the organization.

As an executive leadership coach, I’ve observed that even the most well-intentioned leaders can fall victim to manipulation when it comes to making decisions. Manipulators are skilled at presenting their ideas in a way that makes them seem appealing, even when those ideas may not be in the best interest of the organization. To avoid manipulations from these individuals, it’s important to explore the tactics that manipulators use to get you to buy into their bad ideas and how to protect yourself and your team from falling into these traps.

Appealing to Emotions: Manipulators often begin by appealing to your emotions rather than presenting logical arguments. They may use emotional language, tell compelling stories, or evoke sympathy to make you feel a strong emotional connection to their idea. Be aware of when your emotions are being manipulated and strive to remain objective.

Creating a Sense of Urgency: Manipulators are skilled at creating a false sense of urgency. They may make it seem as though their idea must be implemented immediately, leaving little time for careful consideration. Recognize when urgency is being used as a manipulation tactic and take the time needed to thoroughly evaluate the proposal.

Flattery and Validation: Manipulators often employ flattery and validation to win people over. They may shower you with compliments or make you feel important and valued for considering their idea. While genuine praise is positive, be cautious when it feels excessive or insincere.

Playing the Victim Card: Some manipulators portray themselves as victims, making you feel guilty or responsible for their perceived suffering. They may suggest that their idea is the only way to alleviate their hardships. Avoid making decisions out of guilt; instead, focus on the facts and the greater good.

Isolating You: Manipulators may try to isolate you from others who may offer different perspectives. This isolation can make it easier for them to exert control over your decision-making process. Seek input and feedback from a diverse group of colleagues to avoid falling into this trap.

Using Fear and Threats: Fear is a potent manipulation tool. Manipulators may use fear tactics to make you believe that not following their idea will lead to dire consequences. Always assess whether the fear being presented is rational or exaggerated.

Manipulators are adept at getting people to buy into their bad ideas through emotional appeals, creating a false sense of urgency, using flattery, playing the victim, isolating individuals, and employing fear tactics. To protect yourself and your team from falling into these traps, it’s crucial to recognize when manipulation is at play. Stay objective, seek diverse perspectives, and make decisions based on facts and the best interests of your organization, rather than succumbing to manipulation.

Lead From Within: Resist the allure of manipulation and uphold your commitment to making sound, rational decisions for the benefit of your team and organization.



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The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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