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Warriors never give anyone an inch over anything

•           I am a perfectionist

•           Either it is right or it is wrong

•           Rules are rules

These types of phrases frequently come up when you try to manage warriors. Interestingly, players who use this technique are likely to make their pronouncements when others are around and will overhear. When focusing their play on one person – usually a subordinate – warriors like to be sure others hear so they learn not to test the player. They have been forewarned.

Warriors step on the feelings of others

Since most people are at least a little insecure about their competence and ability to work with others, these players play on others’ insecurities. Some phrases from an office environment are instructive.

•           That is trash

•           More of the same old stuff

•           Dragging your feet

•           Out of your area of expertise

•           Roadblock

•           They – followed by any negative pronouncement

Add any other phrase or statement to the list implying that the other person is at fault, incompetent or less skilled and cooperative than the player. The key is to get them where it hurts.

Warriors are ready to go to war over anything

At first glance, these players may seem to be the same as those who never give an inch. Although they are chips off the same block, these players are just as likely to go for the throat for what they want as for what someone else wants. The crux of the technique is drawing blood. These players say things like:

•           If you won’t go to the mat over the little things, they will just get out of hand

•           You either win or you lost

•           I enjoy a good fight

•           If they want to go to war over this, it is war they’ve got

After a while, it becomes clear that the war is the thing. Even if they get what they want, they will find something to argue about, hoping to start another war.

Warriors are harsh and abrasive

The essence of this technique is more in the delivery than in the content. Players who have mastered this technique understand that the barb must be short and quick to work well. It is a sharp jab, a well-placed phrase or a quick response.

Ask the player, “Do you have a minute for a quick question?”

The instantaneous response is, “No, not right now.” Then the player immediately turns his attention away from the person asking the question, if his attention was there to begin with. Mark’s exit from the conference room is also a good example of this technique. It is quick, specific, and allows no opportunity for discussion or rebuttal. The key is to hit and run.

The technique comes up in other contexts. For example, the player suddenly has to leave but says something cutting or troublesome on his way out the door. Those still in the room are left to deal with the problem.

Warriors never let anyone take advantage of them

The interesting point here is that these players think people are always trying to take advantage of them. They spend their time and energy figuring out how everything will lead to their getting had. Warriors are to be admired for the levels of energy they put into their game. It takes constant vigilance to be sure no one ever takes advantage of them.

One of their automatic questions is, “Why?”

“Would you like to go to lunch?” “Why?”

“May I use your phone?” “Why?”

“How’s it going?” “Why do you ask?”

The player’s need is to evaluate everything in terms of how he might get had. His motto is, If I don’t take care of myself, no one else is going to do it for me.

Warriors will argue with anyone, anywhere, at any time

This may seem like never giving an inch or always being ready to go to war. To some extent, that is true. The new twist is that these players do not have to win and do not necessarily expect to win.

You ask a worker to move to the office next door. That office is exactly like the one he has and the move is to allow a new handicapped worker to be closer to the outside door. The player says, “I am not going to put up with being pushed around. If you think you can get away with this, you have another thing coming.”

In another example, two people are talking about something having nothing to do with the player. Nonetheless, he listens for a few seconds and then disagrees with something said. And the argument starts.

The most destructive examples are when an employee argues with a colleague in front of a customer. Remember these players will pursue their advantage anywhere with anyone, even if it is with the customer himself.

Warriors try to take charge of everything and everyone

Warriors who have mastered taking charge are also apt to take charge, give advice, or intrude when people are capable of taking care of things themselves. For example, “If I were you, I’d do that this way.” This works especially well when the person receiving the advice neither asks for it nor needs it. This technique also is operating when players try to tell others how to arrange their offices, their schedules, their desks, or their lives, given the opportunity.

An instructive example of the Take Charge technique happens during a player’s interview for the position of president of a small corporation. Watch and learn.

The player is sitting at the side of the conference table in the board room when his final interview starts. On the first question, he slowly gets up and starts walking toward the front of the room — to the head of the table.

By the third question, he is standing behind the chairman. On the fifth question, he steps back to the flip chart, picks up a pen, and illustrates his answer. While doing this, he asks the chairman to move so others can see better. The chairman moves.

When the player finishes illustrating his point, he moves back behind the chairman’s chair. During the answer to the next question, he sits down in the chairman’s chair.

This player certainly takes charge – and believe it or not – he gets the job a half hour later.

Warriors expect others to adjust to them, no matter what

A good motto for these players is, It’s my way or no way. Brent and Harold model this technique when they lock horns in the conference room. Brent insists on two field tests. Harold is emphatic that there will be no more tests. The key is that both of them seem to feel that getting the other to give in is more important than having a quality product at a competitive price. Each has his idea and point of view and expects the other to capitulate.

This play also comes up in trivial situations. Try to schedule an appointment with a committed warrior.

“I need to talk with you. Can we get together this week?”

The player says, “This week is tight. How about next week?”

“Well, all right. I could make it on Monday or Thursday.”

The player says, “No good. Wednesday or Friday is it.”

“Well, I could change a couple of things to make it Friday morning.”

The player says, “That’s out. It will have to be afternoon.”

“Well, I am going to take my mother to the doctor at 3:00 so how about 1:30?”

The player says, “No can do. I’ll be taking a long lunch that day so won’t be available before 3:30.”

“Well, I will just have to reschedule with the doctor. 3:30 it is.”

The warrior closes the game. He says, “I’ll pencil you in. Call me that morning to be sure the time is still open.”

Warriors do not believe in being flexible or accommodating to the needs, preferences or individual situations of others

This pattern of play is not the same as expecting others to adjust. Here, the player does not push others to adjust or accommodate. Rather, his only rule is not to adjust to or accommodate to other people. The operative motto is, You do your thing and I’ll do mine.

These players religiously refuse to negotiate or horse trade. An alternative motto might be, If you do not want to play by my rules, I will take my ball and go home. If the other players have a ball of their own, warriors go home anyway.

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