CHAPTER 12: COOPERATION
Life is driven by cooperation, not rivalry.
Everyone is able to and can act alone, but serious results can only be achieved through cooperation.
12.0. GENERAL CONCEPTS
Older people in Estonia still remember the days when all the big work in villages was done in the “toloka” format. The whole village gathered for the toloka. Some of the people cooked food for the toloka participants, some looked after the children, and others did the work planned for the toloka — building a house or a road, carrying away manure, threshing grain, etc.
In cases where there is an urgent need to do something that cannot be done alone, people today still come together and if necessary, pool resources, including money, acquaintances, knowledge, and skills.
In some cases, everything goes well, but unfortunately, it often happens that cooperation does not. Many people are not used to making an effort to achieve anything at all. Some people do not understand why they should create the conditions for other people to succeed and are afraid that someone will steal their ideas and become richer by doing so. A person may simply be unable to understand what others are talking about or what they aspire to.
Cooperation means creating the conditions for each other to succeed.
What matters is not what makes people different from one another, but what unites them, encourages them to make an effort, focus, and reject everything that hinders and misleads.
12.1. PREREQUISITES FOR COOPERATION
As the reader already knows, interpersonal relationships can be relationships between subject and subject, as well as between subject and object (see 6.0.). In the first case, both parties consider each other to be subjects. In the second case, one party views themself as the subject and the partner as the object. Communication can only take place between subjects. If we are talking about a subject who views another person as an object, then we are dealing with treatment.
A subject has abilities, including the ability to cooperate. Articles, phenomena, processes, etc. cannot have abilities.
Cooperation assumes concurring aspirations, mutual understanding, and adaptation to each other. The prerequisite for cooperation is a good relationship. The prerequisite for a relationship is, in turn, communication, which is established if the parties take each other into account, if there is trust and respect between them. This does not mean that there can be no disagreements. The question is how to handle disagreements, explain them, and find solutions that would not put either party in the position of a victim.
It is not easy to find such solutions in which everyone benefits, but they should be sought through well-coordinated cooperation. In order for all parties to feel like winners, the factors affecting cooperation must be systematically addressed.
In order for cooperation to work well, it is necessary to make a consistent effort to:
- achieve professionalism, including language proficiency (clarity of terminology and concept);
- have a mutual desire to provide each other with timely, systematic, and reliable connection (to enable partners to be informed about us, and vice versa);
- ensure there was the same understanding of the following:
- aims and goals, as well as the means for staying on aim and achieving the goal,
- rights, obligations, and responsibilities,
- principles of activity,
- assessment criteria,
- goal visualization and feedback,
- essence and appearance;
- adhere to the conditions of:
- recognizing the mutual contribution of the parties (to the common cause),
- equitably allocating results,
- general responsibility for the possible consequences.
Each person is able to and can act alone, but serious results can be achieved for the most part by cooperating, complementing, inspiring, and encouraging each other, thus creating the necessary conditions for each other to succeed and feel confident.
- Good relations are a prerequisite for cooperation.
- Good relations require communication, borne by the reciprocal trust, respect, attentiveness, honesty, fairness, accuracy, sincerity, expertise.
Life is driven by cooperation, not rivalry. The ability and willingness to cooperate is one of the main prerequisites for development.
Readers can study the prerequisites, factors, and impacts of cooperation on their own with the help of the figures 12.1.1-12.1.4., so we will not dwell on this topic here.
12.2. RIVALRY OR COOPERATION?
It is necessary to distinguish between rivalry (fighting) and competition. Rivalry is a form of fighting — the winner is the one who displaces others, drives them to powerlessness and bankruptcy. Fighting comes at the cost of eliminating resources and destroying conditions. Rivalry is a “big boys’ game”, a surrogate for war, satisfying to some but unnecessary to civil society.
It is necessary to strive for cooperation. An example is clusters of enterprises in which a whole group of organizations that partially coincide in their activities create the prerequisites for each other’s success. As a result, everyone becomes richer and will benefit to a much greater extent than could be achieved alone.
- Competitions take place for the sake of achieving the best result.
- The goal of fighting is to get rid of an opponent.
In addition to respect and trust, a number of common perceptions are necessary for cooperation (see Figure 12.1.1.). A system with a matrix structure can have the same effect in society (see, for example, Figure 11.3.4.).
In society and culture (sports, for example), competition is a form of action when parties try to be better than each other, to achieve the best result. There is no question about hurting each other – healthy competition is a desirable state of affairs.
Rivalry is an unhealthy form of competition. Citizens should think about how to come to the point where, instead of rivalry, we should provide each other with the necessary services. The successful flow of affairs is a function of the moral and professional level of management; this applies to individuals, organizations, and institutions, as well as to the state as a whole.
War is an extreme form of rivalry between states, where the goal is annihilation, and the winner can do whatever they see fit at the expense of the loser. But even when the winner is obvious, as a rule, only history can show which states actually suffered the greatest losses during the war and what they consist of. War is a global disaster and destruction; its outbreak must be prevented by all means. It is the common people who suffer the most from war.
Any confrontation can end in a compromise. A compromise is a solution in which each party must accept that they will receive only part of what was originally planned. A compromise requires both sides of the conflict to take a few steps back.
- A compromise is a solution in which each side must accept that they will receive only part of what they want.
- A compromise does not fully satisfy anyone, but since nothing at all would otherwise work out, the parties agree to partially get what they want or need.
- Most trade and political agreements are compromises.
Creating a system that would deliberately destroy the life force of adjacent systems is an immoral choice. A refined method of destruction is to provide “aid.” It is worth repeating that real aid can only be that which contributes to increasing independence. Everything else that causes dependence, as well as destroys the logic and structure of life, is detrimental.
The logic of life is valid for people and enterprises, as well as for other self-regulating systems: birth, growth, flourishing, withering, death. In order to lengthen organizations’ arc of life, it is important to identify the right time to make changes and be radical enough that the system can reach a qualitatively new state of being (see 11.3.).
- Cooperation does not only apply to production and transportation.
- Cooperation is equally important in all spheres of life, as well as in government and local self-government bodies, in parliament and other constitutional institutions.
Creating a system or projects dependent on financial aid destroys the logic of life and promotes fraud and poverty. With “free money” there is no possibility, nor is there any point in inventing or undertaking anything new on your own. They say there are no free lunches. There are, but not for everyone, and not indefinitely. At some point, such dependency-based relationships may end in the loss of one’s state or emigration, as well as various other troubles. Imagine what would happen if someone in a region fed the birds all summer and stopped when the frost came. An economic model dependent on financial aid is the wrong path that will collapse immediately after the aid is cut off.
A number of peoples and states have already fallen into this kind of trap.
GREED SHOULD NOT BE A ROADMAP
What is the economy? There is nature, technology, and people, and everything has its own structure (the arrangement of elements, parts, and subsystems relative to each other). Estonian academician Uno Mereste said that the economy is a system of relative numbers that characterize various structures and the efficiency, intensity, and expediency of their functioning, change, and development.
Greed and callousness, enrichment at the expense of nature, culture, and others cannot serve as a guide for a person. Carefulness, humanity, caring for the next generations, protecting and preserving life and the living environment can be a guide. The instigators of the wars of the last century were sociopaths who lacked a moral compass; they were indifferent to human suffering and the destruction of the living environment. The task of the citizen is to be on the alert so that sociopaths do not get to power, where they will have the opportunity to destroy human faith and life.
The way out in this case is cooperation, which does not necessarily relate to the material sphere, production, transportation, etc. Cooperation is equally important in all spheres of life, as well as in government, local self-government bodies, Parliament, and other constitutional institutions.
The political fight is in full swing during an election period, after which it is cooperation’s turn. The main aspiration of coalition unions should not be to denigrate and exclude opposition parties from the lawmaking process; cooperation and the involvement of all intellectual potential should prevail.
12.3. OBSTACLES TO COOPERATION
Cooperation is the way out, but success can be achieved on this path only if bureaucracy and demagoguery can be overcome. Serious troubles (see 13) can only be eliminated by honest activities.
Although bureaucracy has already been discussed in previous chapters, let us dwell on it again. The word “bureaucracy” is used in several, sometimes opposite, meanings. Bureaucracy is official record keeping, handling papers in strict accordance with the established procedure. At the same time, the word “bureaucracy” has another meaning: it is a colossus on two legs, one of which is an unjustified structure of authority and the other is a secret.
Bureaucracy is an evil with superhuman power. History is replete with examples of nations both large and small being powerless in the face of bureaucracy. Indeed, if the people turn a blind eye to the spread of bureaucracy for a while, soon they simply do not have the strength left to effectively resist its further spread. It is then only a matter of time before state and local self-government institutions become saturated with formalism, accompanied by shameless malevolence, self-serving ingratiation toward superiors and arrogance toward subordinates, pushing out of professionals, withholding of information, solidarity with dullards, and so on. Bureaucrats are not interested in knowledge, science, or scientists.
The question remains open in society today as to whether the people, along with journalists, are capable of keeping the spread of bureaucracy under control and curbing its onslaught, or whether bureaucracy will drive the people into a corner. If that happens, demagoguery will flourish.
To recognize bureaucracy, the cruelest and most fatal enemy of society and citizens, we list once again its basic characteristics:
- formal, paper-based activities, actions under the scheme “legally everything is correct for us”;
- lies, flourishing demagoguery;
- substituting elections and competitions with fraudulent schemes that bring the “right people” to power.
WHAT IS DEMAGOGUERY?
To understand demagoguery, so that people will recognize demagogues and so demagogues themselves will be ashamed of doing it, it is necessary to know the techniques of demagoguery.
If a person does not know how to behave, cannot cope, and is too lazy to learn, but also does not want to leave their occupation, they resort to demagoguery as an excuse for their existence and to keep their place. They begin talking about how it is others who fail at their jobs, who do not want to concentrate, who are unwilling to learn anything, who are incapable of sustained effort, and who cannot create the prerequisites for others’ successful activity.
Disparaging others is one of the many techniques of demagoguery that have come down to us from ancient times, well preserved and actively used in order to leave as good an impression as possible about oneself and one’s associates. There is a list of the most commonly used demagoguery techniques at the end of this chapter.
Has anyone ever met a civil servant or an MP who has publicly stated that they cannot take part in any discussion or make a decision for the simple reason that they are not sufficiently educated, informed, or experienced in this sphere? Or one who would even admit that they cannot sufficiently foresee the possible consequences of their activities and should therefore do something else?
- a set of techniques for deliberately misleading people;
- a system of methods for distorting the truth that:
- makes it possible to conceal the real motives of the activity and its participants,
- turns means into goals,
- causes an absurd situation in which faith, hope, and love would be extinguished and feelings of confidence would be replaced by doubts and fears.
If a person receives an occupation that formally gives them the right to act, but at the same time they have no obligation to be responsible for their activities, it is as if they do not have to understand anything, as awful as that may sound.
People who unjustifiably assume any position usually begin to make sure that no one understands who they are, what they do, and what will result from their activities. In order to hold on to their occupation, an unprofessional employee selects others like themself, or those even more ignorant. (see 11.1.) They need to be disingenuous and tricky, as well as skilled in demagoguery.
Demagoguery is a powerful technique in countries where people are brought up to be timid. Poorly educated and uninformed people who cannot think for themselves, and who cannot see and understand the systems, subsystems, and metasystems in which values are formed, are not able to cope with the tasks of life on their own. People who are unable to discern connections and dependencies, causes, results, and consequences, who do not distinguish between levels of regulation and management, processes and phenomena, functioning, change, and development, the essential and the non-essential, part and whole, etc., do not really understand the essence of opportunities, limitations, and dangers. The participation of such people in discussing and making decisions is, for the most part, an immoral activity, regardless of their formal rights accompanying citizenship, occupation, mandate, etc.
- People who have unjustifiably seized any posts are often either executors of the party’s will or pawns of another kind, whose opinion cannot have serious weight.
- Demagoguery is also a life-line for parties that include any promises in their programs without thinking at all about who will be able to implement them where and how, and what is very likely to accompany such activities.
In Soviet times, demagoguery was a taboo topic that could only be touched when describing the activities of the “damned imperialists.” In the pre-perestroika period, the more party-political texts were filled with demagoguery, the worse the overall conditions in society were.
People who have unjustifiably occupied any posts are, for the most part, either soldiers of the party or pawns of another kind, and their personal opinion, even if it exists, cannot carry serious weight. And even more so, it cannot be expressed publicly. In Soviet times, it seemed that such behavior was inherent only in people living in a totalitarian society. Now, based on the experience of sufficiently long practice and direct observation, we can say that this is not the case.
Demagoguery is also a lifeline for parties that include any promises in their programs without thinking at all about who will be able to implement them where and how, and what is very likely to accompany such activities.
Politicians who “won” with the support of PR agencies have nothing left to do after the election but apply techniques to distort the truth and hope that no one dares to delve deeper and seriously analyze what they were promised earlier.
People who rely on demagoguery can function and be satisfied with themselves if those around them:
- do not dare to show that they understand perfectly well what is being done to them and what they plan to do in the future;
- are used (habituated from a young age) to being objects of manipulation rather than subjects of self- and social management; they would gladly manipulate other people themselves;
- are so deluded that they blindly believe everything that is said and written, accepting any text as the ultimate truth;
- are unable to, incapable of, and unwilling to analyze the texts being disseminated; they are bored, tired, and pretend to be uninterested in anything;
- hope to someday join those in power, and feel all the more important the more they are connected with power;
- are unable to recognize demagoguery, demagogues, and the consequences of their actions.
A DEMAGOGUE WANTS TO MANIPULATE PEOPLE
Demagoguery is bad because people who resort to it use statements that may themselves be quite correct and valuable. The plans and aspirations of demagogues are not always easy to discern, as can be seen in the case of starting a government campaign to raise prices (for example, to raise excise taxes). Instead of discussing the price hike, the media are filled with articles and interviews about how the government, with (or without) the minister, is searching day and night for ways to reduce the price increase. As a result, many people feel happy that prices have not risen as much as was stated “from above.”
To prevent yourself and others from being manipulated, you should know the techniques of demagoguery.
100 TECHNIQUES, EXAMPLES, AND SIGNS OF DEMAGOGUERY
1. Labeling: for example, declaring someone a puppet, henchman, etc.
2. Appealing to the public or the majority: “We are all as one!”
3. Pathos of speech: Loud words, a metallic voice, dramatic gestures, and repetitions create such a background to the performance that it seems inappropriate to argue.
4. Reversing goals and means.
5. Using vivid but vague concepts, about which it is known only that they mean something good, acceptable to everyone. For example, “democracy”, “European values”, “humanism”, and other “isms.”
6. Using old, time-tested symbols, such as national heroes, the classics, traditional holidays, and special clothing. Old symbols are so firmly woven into new ideas that it is practically impossible to disentangle them, and again arguing is irrelevant.
7. Focusing the attention of the listener, opponent, or partner on their own self-interest. Even if the benefit they gain is ridiculous compared to the advantage gained by the speaker themself.
8. “The middle car.” A false statement is placed between correct ones and broadcast to the audience at the same rhythm and tempo as the correct statements. A calculation is made that there will not be time to protest the false statement or it will not be noticed at all.
9. Commonality. People like to listen to and consider the opinion of “one of us.”
10. Focusing on (shared) memories. If the narrator was once known as an honest, good person, then the impression is purposefully created that they are still the same today.
11. Deceiving: deliberately using false facts. And when the truth comes out, they say, without blinking, that it is too late to change the decision: the train has already left the station.
Example of demagoguery:
- Deliberately using false facts.
- When the truth comes out, they say, without blinking, that it is too late to change the decision: the train has already left the station.
12. An authority’s advice is taken as a foundation, but it is not indicated that this advice was given at a different time and should be considered in a completely different context.
13. Relying on the experience of the speaker themself or another person. Generalizations cannot be made based on the experience of an individual. Generalized experience (a conclusion drawn from the experience of many) can be used as a non-demagogic argument.
15. Substituting a serious interpretation with playing.
18. Suggesting the importance of the issue under consideration or, vice versa, the lack of any significance.
19. Focusing the public’s attention on an opponent’s economic, administrative, political, family, etc. dependence.
20. Using symbols, attributes, traditions, and rituals with the goal of forming or destroying behavioral stereotypes.
22. Extremely subjective assessments (without a single argument).
23. Introducing confusion into the issue under consideration, mixing up consideration of the issue’s significance, innovativeness, and degree of prevalence.
24. Appropriating other people’s thoughts, attributing interests and assessments.
25. Instead of looking for the reasons for the emergence and expansion of the problem, identifying guilt and the guilty.
26. Exalting heroes as an example in the context of an overall dysfunctional situation.
27. Reminding (as an argument) about the hardships and/or achievements of past times in order to cover up the current helplessness and indifference.
28. Describing a bright future with the goal of distracting attention from the grave present and the mistakes of management.
29. Superficial self-criticism with the goal of avoiding meaningful analysis and realistic conclusions from others.
30. Continuously talking about something with the goal of achieving a hammering effect. A compulsion to repeatedly do or say something that makes no sense or is immoral in the hope of causing cognitive dissonance (see 2.6.).
31. Appealing to sober reason: “Every sane person understands that …”
32. Endlessly discussing some topic in order to create the impression that the subject of the conversation is really taken into account and the necessary actions are being performed.
33. Reminding about their merits, occupations, “epaulets”, and awards in order to emphasize their own importance.
34. Raising their voice.
35. Standing while speaking (when everyone is seated), or speaking from an elevated position.
36. Ignoring the opposing side. Questions are skipped; random, careless answers are given.
37. Contrasting each proposed fact with a random fact from some area not related to the article of discussion. Giving the impression that the facts cited by the opponent are irrelevant.
38. Manipulating by using general phrases that are devoid of concrete content, a meaningless flow of speech.
39. Putting one’s own thesis at the beginning and at the end of the discussion. Striving to start the discussion first and finish it last.
40. Emphasizing personal scrutiny of the issue under consideration: “I have been watching with concern for a long time…”
41. Emphasizing the particular importance of the issue under consideration by praising the questioner: “This is the most important of the issues. It’s good that it’s on the agenda!”
42. Presenting one’s own wishes as an objective tendency, an inevitability that can only be accepted and supported.
43. Giving a detailed speech describing not the results and consequences achieved, but only one’s own activities. The fact that there are no results hides behind a froth of words.
44. Including some impressive facts in the speech that leave an impression of the speaker’s professionalism. At the same time, there is no analysis, and the causes and conclusions remain undisclosed.
45. Playing with facts. Presenting individual facts as evidence. For example, one random opinion is passed off as a general opinion. 46. Emphasizing one’s own interest through inappropriate interference, numerous questions, and repeated speeches. This acts as pressure to deter a tactful person.
47. Comparing the incomparable. One example comes from one era, another from a completely different time.
48. Substituting the main topic of discussion. They start defending something that does not really need defending and is perfectly in order. After that, an impression remains that all the criticism was unnecessary.
49. “Idem per idem”, or the proof of the assertion is the assertion itself.
50. “Argumentum ad hominem.” Instead of starting to discuss the issue, a conversation begins about the opponent’s interests, character, or appearance.
51. Interspersing lies and truth in speech in such a way that it seems that everything said is true.
52. Giving assessments without explaining what is presented as an example and what is subject to criticism. Assessments are for emotional impact only: “this is good” or “this is bad.”
53. The opponent’s assertions are turned upside down, and in doing so, it is claimed that the opponent contradicts themself. This is accompanied by the derogatory remark, “Not everyone can be a professional in serious matters…”
54. Inflating some trivial detail or emotional nuance to exorbitant proportions.
55. Demonstrating one’s own special awareness. In doing so, they try to give the impression that they are sharing only a little bit of their existing knowledge. Possessing information turns out to be a source of prestige.
56. In a dispute, taking quotations out of context in order to present one’s assertions as truth.
57. Criticizing those not present — they cannot speak in their own defense.
58. Lying based on the principle, “A lie must be big enough to seem true.”
59. Before a thought is expressed, it is given a value. For example: “And now, an extremely valuable proposal…”
60. Asking several questions at the same time, then saying about the answers: “The question was about something else…”
- Demagogue starts defending something that does not really need defending and is perfectly in order.
- After that, an impression remains that all the criticism was unnecessary.
61. Asking questions that can only be answered by “yes” or “no.”, betting that it will be uncomfortable for their opponent to say “no.”
62. Depersonalizing the source of the thought/idea. “There has been a suggestion to end the meeting…”
63. Questioning their opponent’s competency or belittling their ability to think, suggesting problems with memory. “You can’t even listen”, or “Your head is not working anymore.”
64. Identifying oneself with an institution, enterprise, or organization and expressing one’s own thoughts on behalf of the enterprise or the entire team.
65. Pointing out which of the respected people present or not in the audience could confirm the speaker’s words. This inspires confidence in the listeners and dispels doubts.
66. “Juggling” numbers, procedures, and ratios very rapidly. The listener quickly loses the ability to navigate, and the demagogue is able to cite arbitrary figures, relying on them in their reasoning.
67. Shifting the blame onto the shoulders of subordinates as an attempt to hide their own incompetency.
68. Singling out one or more subordinates. Teaching a lesson from their example to everyone else (like them). The employees named are given a shake-up so that the boss has the opportunity to show themself as strict.
69. Identifying an organization with the person being criticized or praised. Talking about a specific person, while implying the entire organization, field of activity, or production sector.
70. Highlighting traditional shortcomings. It is always and everywhere possible to say, with closed eyes, that planning is ill-conceived, information is insufficient, control is unsatisfactory, decisions are weak and vague.
71. Praising for little things, only to criticize later for serious shortcomings. This leaves the impression of objectivity on the part of the criticizing party (boss).
72. Creating confusion by asking numerous questions at once, with the conversation taking on an attacking nature. All this is accompanied by the respondent’s weakness and indignation. The questioner, on the other hand, can argue that there are no answers.
73. Painting either a terrible or a bright picture of the future. The conclusion the audience should make is that to avoid the worst or achieve the best, you must listen to and respect the speaker, and fulfill their requirements/demands.
74. Presenting such a long list of work done or not done or such a detailed list of shortcomings that no one is able to remember, compare, consider, or meaningfully analyze.
75. Revolving a conversation about a big problem around one or two random questions taken out of context and for a long time. The result is “Enough discussion! A thorough analysis showed that …” After that, making the right decision for their own needs.
76. Simulating self-criticism.
77. Moralizing, reprimanding, presenting something already well known as new, trying to convince everyone of the validity of facts familiar to everyone. All this is done in order to groundlessly put themself at the forefront.
78. Indicating it’s the wrong time to consider the issue. First announcing, “It’s too early, it’s not yet time to make decisions.” then asking, “Where were you before? The decision has already been made, and nothing more can be done.”
79. Indicating their own personal particular tasks which, as if all on their own, should solve the problem.
Creating conformity effect:
- Implying that everyone thinks or behaves a certain way: “You don’t want to be different, do you?”
- Asking: “What’s my fault? That’s how people behave everywhere.”
80. Reacting unreasonably aggressively to subordinates’ shortcomings in order to cover up their own shortcomings.
81. Giving science-based justifications, while scientific research or experiments have not actually been conducted.
82. “Get a goat.” Difficult circumstances suddenly become even more difficult (due to targeted impact). When the former conditions are later restored, it seems to everyone that it is now quite satisfactory.
83. “A flea’s promise.” Promising something insignificant, or promising nothing at all, justifying it by unfavorable external circumstances. This hides their own blindness and postpones the explosion of discontent until the future.
84. “Spinning the Fantasy Wheel” (“A Tangle of Dreams”). Making more and more fantastical plans and making clarifications, but, in reality, achieving nothing. The fantasy wheel can spin until the regulatory agencies run out of patience.
85. A strategy based on conformity. Implying that everyone thinks or behaves a certain way: “You don’t want to be different, do you?” Or asking, “What’s my fault? That’s how people behave everywhere.” It is possible to appoint several mouthpieces at the same time who will say exactly the things that were agreed upon in advance; then a situation will be created in which presenting a different opinion is shameful.
86. Inviting people to participate in the decision-making process in order to create the impression of participation, with the expectation that they will vote for decisions that they were not actually able to participate in due to lack of preparation, lack of information, or because their opinions were ignored.
87. Calling for unanimity. Even in ancient Rome, it was known that a unanimous decision usually hid a despot or a deceiver.
88. If bosses manage to reject all suggestions from subordinates, they can have no fear of making a mistake or doing (allowing someone to do) something wrong. If the subordinates’ suggestion is implemented in spite of the ban, then they can talk about “the success of our team.” In case of failure, they can recall that it was done without permission. Because such bosses are “always right”, they sit firmly in their place or move steadily up the career ladder.
- Demagogue organizes meetings, making long speeches. An outside observer gets the impression of an energetic, proactive, diligent, and principled person.
- “Tiny detail” is that they are incompetent and interfere with the normal, meaningful work process, that they are immoral, and corrupt people by forming warped orientations.
89. “The Swallow.” A leading employee who is confident that they must remain one, regardless of the field in which they will work and without looking at the tasks they will perform. They try in every way to hide their incompetence. They sidestep the conversation and avoid detail, claiming that “this level is too low (primitive) for me.” Organizing meetings, making long speeches. An outside observer gets the impression of an energetic, proactive, person. What remains in the shadows is that they are incompetent and interfere with the normal, meaningful work process, that they are immoral, and corrupt people by forming warped orientations.
90. “Combat pilot.” A leading employee who, under any pretext, tries to stay away from their workplace. They strive to join commissions, councils, and committees so that they can constantly be at meetings where they can say something or not say anything at all without any responsibility. They justify their mental sterility on commissions by their workload. At work, they attribute their own blindness to a high social workload. When they occasionally appear at their organization, they indiscriminately “blurt out” everything and then run and disappear again. After they leave, tears and resentments remain. An outside observer gets the impression, thanks to the demagogic effect, that this employee is a strong person who can quickly conduct business and is able to take decisive measures.
91. Unjustified praise. This technique works in two ways. “Praise a fool — he’s happy to try.” Oddly enough, even flat and vulgar compliments make people compliant and attentive. People who watch someone being groundlessly praised see it as a reprimand to themselves.
92. Groundless reprimand. An unfounded, sudden accusation of unknown claims stuns the victim of the attack. By the time the victim begins to recover, the attack is over, public opinion has been formed, and the advantage is divided; someone is fired, someone is left with nothing. After that, the person who performed this trick uses some proverb as their defense, such as “you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs” or declares as a matter of course that “a mistake has occurred.” Repeated criticism of a person’s personal characteristics is traumatic. In this way, it is possible to damage a person to such an extent that they will no longer believe in their abilities or in their future, and will lose all desire to work. As a result, the demagogue will point their finger at the person and explain to everyone that such an employee is unfit for their occupation, and that promotion is out of the question.
93. Indicating that certain actions are performed by the order or instructions of upper management. Therefore, the executors do not bear any responsibility for the result (let the bosses themselves be responsible).
94. Talking not about the shortcomings, but about the reserves created in case of consequences.
95. Talking not about work or accomplishments and shortcomings, but about future plans. Some plans are replaced by others, and then it seems strange to remember previous intentions and promises and to discuss their execution.
96. Appealing to traditional (objective) difficulties. For example, “the bosses don’t pay enough attention to the business”, “logistics leave a lot to be desired”, “not enough concrete assistance has been provided”, “working conditions are poor”, “there is a lack of good staff.”
Example of demagoguery:
- Talking not about work or accomplishments and shortcomings, but about activities and future plans.
- Some plans are replaced by others, and then it seems strange to remember previous intentions and promises and to discuss their execution.
97. Repeatedly personally appealing to the bosses. Attempting to create the impression of proximity to the bosses. It is difficult for bosses who are fawned upon in this way to question the idea hidden under a layer of sycophancy and say anything against it.
98. At first, criticizing themselves for little things, and then taking all the credit.
99. Pointing to the incompetency, bias, superficiality, and unsystematic nature of the controlling party.
100. Unexpectedly admitting guilt about everything. This makes the disarmed accuser speechless, moved, and sympathetic. You can’t beat a person when they’re down.
101. Creating arbitrary barriers. For example, excluding someone from the candidate list by claiming that “there is classified compromising material” against the person.