The Strategy of Contradiction

Convey a message in person that directly contradicts your words.

An employee made it look as if I sent this memo. I assure you I did not! I promised increased bonuses, but that was before the recent downturn...

An employee made it look as if I sent this memo. I assure you I did not! I promised increased bonuses, but that was before the recent downturn…

You would be amazed at how effectively this tactic is used at my company. This strategy causes doubt in the consistency of my actions compared to my words. My employees don’t know when I am creating hot air and when I am speaking truth. Success!

When employees can trust every word you say, they become mindless and unchanging, clinging to each word for their very purpose at work. Why should they cling to my words when they should really be watching my actions instead? Thus, I will intentionally break their dependency on the equivalence of my messages through word and deed. This is to keep them fully aware of their surroundings, constantly watching each new development with the eye of a hawk, ready to pounce on promising opportunities or turn on their heels away from pointless activities.

NOTE: This technique is advanced and is not for the weak. Or the soft. Or those leaders who insist on “serving” others. But then, if you are the one in charge and you are reading this, you aren’t concerned with serving others and you are probably tough and ferocious enough to use this strategy to maximum effectiveness.

Imagine hosting a debate, except it is done within one team, not two. The one team has to split and represent both sides of the debate, disagreeing about the pros and cons of each side, in order to determine which argument is best — all done to get an idea of which announcement I will most likely make next. This will force your employees to thoroughly discuss my every action, email, and announcement every opportunity they get, from the front desk to the break room to after hours at the bar. That is the entire goal here – to facilitate thoughtful discussion among the company!

You must be doing what’s best for yourself, which will in the big picture also be what’s best for the team. They need to know that you are in charge of everything and that you have everyone’s best interests behind all decisions, even if that means contradiction. They may not understand it at all — especially when you send an email saying one thing and the next week you do the opposite — but that’s okay. You know best.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand….
Act and live out your words so others can appreciate your clarity and respect your consistency. Strive for a life of integrity so you your words and actions agree at all times, with all people.
  • eouw0o83hf

    Hear, hear. It’s not in the employer’s best interests to be giving out money for days with no work done in them. That’s just wasteful.