The Definition of Manipulation

A frequently-asked question in our work on change and leadership is: what is manipulation, and how can I make sure I am persuasive, but not manipulating others?

Our preferred definition is as follows: “manipulation” is when you are trying to make someone do or believe something that they would likely choose NOT to do or believe if they knew your intent.

The solution is simple. State your intent up front. Then use any persuasion approach you wish – as long as it is legal and ethical, of course!

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