Rule 97: Make the opposition seem irreplaceable

Lagos Society Woman & Hotelier, Chief (Mrs.) Alake Oshun  
We
have looked at why you can’t indulge in any back-stabbing – Rule 92:
Don’t back-stab – and you know you can’t say anything bad about anyone – Rule
31
: If you can’t say anything nice – shut up – but all the same, one of
the competition is getting in a bit too close with the boss and it looks like
that promotion might just go their way. 

What do you do?  You make them
seem irreplaceable of course. But you do it by pointing out all the important
but mundane jobs they do.  You point out
their strengths to your boss in the boring, humdrum area.  ‘God, I don’t know what we’d
do without Rachael to do the
filing.  She must be a Virgo; she’s so
good at that sort of stuff’
.  But you
are only going to point out things that your rival is genuinely good at.  We are not going to lieRule 31: Never lie – but merely praise the
completion for a particular skill; and a skill that they can best exercise
right where they are.


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 “You haven’t
lied.  You had indirectly flattered your
customer – the implication being, ‘You obviously need a much more up-market
executive car than those shoddy little boxes they sell next door”

Your
boss is your customer – you sell your services to them.  Your colleagues are the competition.  If you were selling cars and someone asked if
the next garage sold better cars, what would you say?  You wouldn’t say, ‘Yes, they sell much better cars than us – and chapter, in fact you
ought to go straight there and buy one of theirs right now’
.  But you also wouldn’t say anything bad – ‘Their cars are all stolen’ – but you
might well say, ‘Their cars are fine but
they appeal to a different customer, they sell more family saloons than us’
.  You haven’t lied.  You had indirectly flattered your customer –
the implication being, ‘You obviously
need a much more up-market executive car than those shoddy little boxes they
sell next door’
– but you haven’t said anything bad.

“YOUR BOSS
IS YOUR CUSTOMER. YOUR COLLEAGUES ARE THE COMPETITION”.

You
can also get your rival colleague to ask questions of themselves about the new
position: ‘If you did get Richard’s job
how do you think you’d cope with all those meetings?  I remember you telling me you hated
meetings’.
Hopefully she’ll think about all those dreary interminable,
intimidating meetings and may well back off. 
You, on the other hand, find them stimulating, exciting and very
productive – and you haven’t said anything bad, merely asked a simple
question.  You’ll get them to want to
stay right where they are – they’ll make themselves irreplaceable.
(Excerpts from THE
RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “damning the opposition with faint praise” from The Rules tomorrow on Asabeafrika)










Rule-to-Work Series

















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