Robert Greene on Dealing with Bad People — September 7, 2021

Robert Greene on Dealing with Bad People

Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic) interviewed Robert Greene (48 Laws of Power) during Week 3 of the Daily Stoic Leadership Challenge. The theme for Week 3 was about dealing with people. The conversation was mostly about dealing with bad people. I compared his advice to dealing with bad people in my personal life and I think it stands up.

Why should an aspiring leader read 48 Laws of Power?

  • The game of leadership and power is a complicated and competitive game.
  • There are a lot of people with dark energy out there that do not have your best interest in mind, but are looking out for themselves.
  • Most of the time, the people you are going up agains are kindhearted and generous and a win-win solution is likely possible.
  • However, you need to be aware of and ready for the 1% of times that you’re dealing with bad people looking to win no matter the cost.

When it comes to people taking advantage of us, where do most of us fall short?

  • We see the world as we wish it were to be rather than how it actually is.
  • We have to learn how to divorce our emotions from the situation. Learn to look at things more coldly and objective.
  • Don’t take what is happening to you personal. Don’t complain about what the other person is doing to you. Instead, figure out a way to overcome it and beat him.
  • You can’t just leave the match because you don’t like how it is going. You have to learn to adjust your game accordingly.

How do you effectively deal with bad people?

  • Bad people want to drag you into their problems and drama.
  • You are never going to change or reform them, it is about what you are going to do to get them out of your life.
  • The greatest problem we have is divorcing or removing ourselves from the situation emotionally.
  • We need to think more coldly and objectively about the situation. This will give us more time to come up with better options to respond or behave. Remember a good offense is your best defense.
  • The goal is to never let these people into your life in the first place. Strive to be a better judge of people’s behavior and character.

Why is it so hard to deal with bad people?

  • Because they can be very charming, seductive, and charismatic people. They pull you in.
  • You pick up on the signals that tell you to run, but you ignore them because they are charming.
  • However, you have to listen with your brain and not ignore the signals. You have to be ready to make really hard decisions and live with the consequences.
Problem Solving with Perfectionists — June 29, 2021

Problem Solving with Perfectionists

I have a team member who is bright and conscientious. She is the resident expert on our systems and work processes. Most of the time, her approach to solving problems and implementing solutions is spot-on. However, when a solution doesn’t immediately present itself, she can get stuck. Her high need to ‘be the best’ gets in the way of coming up with ‘good enough’ solutions.

This happened in a meeting today. She identified a hurdle in extracting some data to upload into a new system. I felt like there was a solution lurking somewhere in the background and it just had to be flushed out. In the past, I would jump straight into brainstorming mode. I find when I do this she puts up a wall and we make little progress.

Today, I tried something different. I took a more rational approach by breaking the problem down into three distinct parts: filters, date ranges, and data extraction. At each step I asked open-ended questions and tested her assumptions. We got to the root cause of her issue at step 2 and then I was able to brainstorm potential solutions. Less defensive, she was in a better mindset that allowed her to consider each of my ideas and pick the best one.