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Discussion Starter #1
Hi dear INTJ’s!

This is my first post in your sub-forum. I’m feeling shy about posting here, it’s so silly, it’s the internet; geez! But you guys are quite intimidating and I need advice on how to not hate my boss... he’s quiet and respectful BUT I feel like he’s playing the team like a game of chess. Hate it. I wish I could call him on it. Everyone seems to like him but I find him cold and calculated. He gets his way without even imposing anything. He gets the team to do what he wants in a very non-directive way. They think they’re the ones getting the ideas but they’re not. He’s not mean or anything, just very manipulative and I don’t want him to think I’m a [email protected]&$ chess pawn!

Love,
INFP
 

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Well, I'm sorry to hear you find INTJ intimidating, but that's your right.

I understand your boss's tendency, but what I don't get is why it upsets you so much.

Do you think he's cheating, by not being direct about his motivations?

Or do you resent being treated as a cog in a wheel? I couldn't speak to that, because, well, you kind of are by being submissive to his authority. That is the job, you know.

What you could do about it? Um, well, since he is your better in this situation, according to him, I'm sure, and the structure of your average hierarchical system, your best bet is to play his game.

You could try to outplay him, but if it were me, I'd do that not with the intention to win anything, but from the satisfaction of achieving better knowledge of the same information he has, and the rules he operates by.

However, that's a lot of effort. But I think an initial investment in figuring out his game is probably worth the longer-term easing of cognitive burden, since, you know, once you get over the initial barrier, you can just play along like...cribbage or something, checkers on the back porch with Bubba and some white lightning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How do you want him to treat you? Would the end result still be comparable?
Good question.
Like I know about his game. And I don’t buy into it?
It’s the first INTJ I’ve worked with. I know nothing on how to crack open his shell a little. He’s so damn guarded!
With gradual exposure, he can now stand a little closer to me without being super awkward. I tried to give him a hug on New Year’s in 2017 and he looked terrified and grabbed my shoulders to keep me at distance, lol!
Anyways, that is off topic. Or maybe not. I want to be treated with more sensitivity?
What I want is for others to see him for who he is. I guess it’s very INFP of me.
I’m disillusioned now.
This seemingly nice and caring man is manipulating the staff. He’s not hurting anyone, he’s just getting what he wants ALL THE TIME without them even realizing it.
I could joke about it. He takes humour very well.

How to get something I want out of him?

The only time he changed his mind about an issue is when I was super angry and went into his office and was very direct and agressive. It’s not at all my usual self but I was so shocked at his decision, it was not thought trough at all. He smiled and agreed. WTF? I have no idea how to interact with him.
 

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Hi dear INTJ’s!

This is my first post in your sub-forum. I’m feeling shy about posting here, it’s so silly, it’s the internet; geez! But you guys are quite intimidating and I need advice on how to not hate my boss... he’s quiet and respectful
Quiet and respectful is good. Some bosses shout. Many don’t respect anyone.

BUT I feel like he’s playing the team like a game of chess.
Probably because he’s playing the team like a game of chess. I might suggest learning chess. Or throw him off his game and play Monopoly.

Hate it. I wish I could call him on it.
May I ask why? Clearly you are unhappy. All companies have politics. Playing the game so your team wins and no one shouts is good. As long as no one is unethical or uses people.

Everyone seems to like him but I find him cold and calculated.
Well managers have to calculate. To be fair. Cold is subjective. Is he mean? Unkind? What do you mean by cold? I’ve had warm bosses who were awful and cool bosses who were good. And vice-versa. Give me competent and not a jerk and I’m thrilled. It’s surprisingly rare.

He gets his way without even imposing anything. He gets the team to do what he wants in a very non-directive way. They think they’re the ones getting the ideas but they’re not.
So he knows what has to be done, quietly gets people to do it, AND gives them the ego-boost of letting them think it’s their idea? Seriously, I think I’m in love with your boss. Again assuming he’s not getting people to do anything unethical.

He’s not mean or anything, just very manipulative and I don’t want him to think I’m a [email protected]&$ chess pawn!

Love,
INFP
Well then show him you’re a rook. Maybe a bishop?

Seriously I get it. You’d rather someone (or think you would) who is maybe more outgoing and less plotting. But if he is playing the board well and is well-respected, he can make the whole team including you look good. Find a way to shine and you may have a valuable ally.

I know nothing on how to crack open his shell a little.
He’s your boss? Yeah, well, to be blunt: That is not likely to happen. If he is guarded he’s not likely to let his team inside the shell.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
...

Or do you resent being treated as a cog in a wheel? ...play his game...
He’s not being honest with his intentions.
No, I don’t have a problem following a leader, I prefer it really. I’m a teacher so I don’t feel like a cog in a wheel. My job is equally important as his. Just different. I wouldn’t want to deal with all the stress he is with all the complaining he has to listen to.
Play his game, now that sounds like fun...
 

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He’s not being honest with his intentions.
No, I don’t have a problem following a leader, I prefer it really. I’m a teacher so I don’t feel like a cog in a wheel. My job is equally important as his. Just different. I wouldn’t want to deal with all the stress he is with all the complaining he has to listen to.
Play his game, now that sounds like fun...
Oh, I see.

Well, IMHO he's just a standard issue jackass -- he probably doesn't know either very much about his expression of his intentions, which are likely buried under a few layers of obfuscation and associations he's made, probably during some period of his technical formation/training. One thing you can take to the bank, put in your pipe and smoke it, is he's not ever going to change his method, especially if he's an INTJ, so that simplifies your approach options.

Yeah, I don't know what you can except just try to draw some satisfaction for your own peace of mind by not letting his game rule you, IOW, playing it, to some extent. You may or may not choose to "beat him at his own game" -- I wouldn't, just knowing the game is enough for me.

But it's certainly the one place I'd start.
 

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Play his game, now that sounds like fun...
Yeah, don't do that. Especially with a boss.

Well then show him you’re a rook. Maybe a bishop?

Seriously I get it. You’d rather someone (or think you would) who is maybe more outgoing and less plotting. But if he is playing the board well and is well-respected, he can make the whole team including you look good. Find a way to shine and you may have a valuable ally.
If you want to play the game, do this.

He’s not being honest with his intentions.
I don't know the guy or his intentions. However, knowing who and how much to trust someone comes with the territory of being a leader.



If you haven't, you might want to read 48 Laws of Power. It's an excellent, meta-history book for all the sorts of power games. Think of it as a dictionary or field guide, not an instruction manual.
 

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so i'm not sure i get this. or don't see where you're coming from.

is there a reason why you don't think he should have 'everything' his own way? that's not a trap or a leading question. i honestly need help understanding what is offending you about this.

Like I know about his game. And I don’t buy into it?

so, a) tell us more about his game. and b) is it patronized you don't want to be, or manipulated?

I know nothing on how to crack open his shell a little. He’s so damn guarded!

well, it's not necessarily your right to crack open his so-called shell. leave that part out of it maybe. you don't get professional access to his more personal self, and showing his more personal self probably isn't one of his job obligations.

He’s not being honest with his intentions

describe his intentions for us, the way you perceive them?

This seemingly nice and caring man is manipulating the staff. He’s not hurting anyone, he’s just getting what he wants ALL THE TIME without them even realizing it.
I could joke about it. He takes humour very well.

well, that's an intriguing kind of portrait. so he's not being a dick at all? or he is being a dick but he's pretending not to be and you're angry about that. or, something else? you're angry with him for NOT being a dick? i'm not getting a clear picture here.

i can't help wondering if you're just feeling like he ought to provide more personal-ness than you're getting. if that's the case, well i dunno.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I’m coming from a place where I trusted his intentions and realized just this week he’s manipulative. He’s not a dick. And I’m not angry. His game is to wait it out and make no decisions. Then, the staff get really frustrated because there are important issues at stake and he’s doing nothing. Finally, we have to do it for him and the problem gets solved but he’s not putting any effort, time or energy into it. I see the pattern now. He forces us to take action for him. We have to do his job with families who are in trouble. He’s always nice and calm, never loses his temper. But he’s not really there, not filling the shoes.
My coworkers are going: - Great! We showed him! We are takings matters into our own hands, hurray! Finally there will be change!

But, they don’t realize we end up doing his job, we end up taking more responsibilities again. And they keep saying how nice he is and only needs to take more actions. He will not. He has not in the last two years. :rolleyes:

I know it’s idealistic, wishing he would show his true self and stop pretending he cares. Because he doesn’t. His non-decisions are telling.

No need for advice I suppose then. I have to lower my expectations, that’s all.

Thanks for helping me. The emotion was raw and I needed help to sort it out. The rest of the staff will eventually figure it out too. My next question would be how to get him to make decisions and take action, but I know that’s not realistic. I will just wait it out, he’ll be at another school in a couple of years as they are obligated to change schools every 4-5 years.
 

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I’m coming from a place where I trusted his intentions and realized just this week he’s manipulative. He’s not a dick. And I’m not angry. His game is to wait it out and make no decisions. Then, the staff get really frustrated because there are important issues at stake and he’s doing nothing. Finally, we have to do it for him and the problem gets solved but he’s not putting any effort, time or energy into it. I see the pattern now. He forces us to take action for him. We have to do his job with families who are in trouble. He’s always nice and calm, never loses his temper. But he’s not really there, not filling the shoes.
My coworkers are going: - Great! We showed him! We are takings matters into our own hands, hurray! Finally there will be change!

But, they don’t realize we end up doing his job, we end up taking more responsibilities again. And they keep saying how nice he is and only needs to take more actions. He will not. He has not in the last two years. :rolleyes:

I know it’s idealistic, wishing he would show his true self and stop pretending he cares. Because he doesn’t. His non-decisions are telling.

No need for advice I suppose then. I have to lower my expectations, that’s all.

Thanks for helping me. The emotion was raw and I needed help to sort it out. The rest of the staff will eventually figure it out too. My next question would be how to get him to make decisions and take action, but I know that’s not realistic. I will just wait it out, he’ll be at another school in a couple of years as they are obligated to change schools every 4-5 years.
I’m scratching my head. Not because I don’t understand your frustration, but because this description sounds sort of like the opposite of what you said in your first post? Maybe it’s just me. But do-nothing boss and chess-player boss are sort of opposing descriptions.

What you described above would annoy me too.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Lol!
Sorry for being confusing.
He is a chess player because he knows damn well we will do for him.
Everything looks good, the game board looks fine, nothing to worry about but then, bam! We end up losing!
Is this better? :)
 

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I’m coming from a place where I trusted his intentions and realized just this week he’s manipulative. He’s not a dick. And I’m not angry. His game is to wait it out and make no decisions. Then, the staff get really frustrated because there are important issues at stake and he’s doing nothing. Finally, we have to do it for him and the problem gets solved but he’s not putting any effort, time or energy into it. I see the pattern now. He forces us to take action for him. We have to do his job with families who are in trouble. He’s always nice and calm, never loses his temper. But he’s not really there, not filling the shoes.
My coworkers are going: - Great! We showed him! We are takings matters into our own hands, hurray! Finally there will be change!
ad
But, they don’t realize we end up doing his job, we end up taking more responsibilities again. And they keep saying how nice he is and only needs to take more actions. He will not. He has not in the last two years. :rolleyes:

I know it’s idealistic, wishing he would show his true self and stop pretending he cares. Because he doesn’t. His non-decisions are telling.

No need for advice I suppose then. I have to lower my expectations, that’s all.

Thanks for helping me. The emotion was raw and I needed help to sort it out. The rest of the staff will eventually figure it out too. My next question would be how to get him to make decisions and take action, but I know that’s not realistic. I will just wait it out, he’ll be at another school in a couple of years as they are obligated to change schools every 4-5 years.
I'm not sure how you know that this is a clever plan as opposed to simply someone who is not invested in the job, but I'll take your word for it. It could be that he is taking this approach because teachers are notoriously hard to manage. Really, you guys are famous for it. You tend to be opinionated, strong-willed, active people who are used to calling the shots in your classroom. So maybe he decided that this passive approach is the most effective management style.

But you can do something. It's called managing up. Managing your manager. I get a new boss about every two years, so I have a lot of practice on this one.

If you dislike his passive style, challenge him on it. You have already done that, and it worked. You don't have to go storming into his office. Go in politely, but be straightforward. Tell him that you noticed that ABC hasn't happened, and until it does, you cannot do the important XYZ. If you are waiting for a policy decision, tell him that. "Important XYZ can't happen until I get guidance. What decision do you want to go with?"

Document anything he does say with emails or memos: "Just confirming, regarding our conversation earlier, you want staff to do xxx", or "You weren't ready to decide on ABC, so we are on hold with XYZ until that is clarified."

In staff meetings, if he won't speak up, you now can speak up for him, forcing his involvement. "Joe and I had a recent conversation and email exchange about this topic, and he told me that we are doing ABC." Joe will have to agree, because he knows you have documentation of it. If he does not want that to happen he will have to clarify a different stance.

You may think of all of this as manipulative, but it isn't really. It is focused on being clear that unless he does his job, you cannot do yours. And it is respectful, too. You aren't encroaching on his authority - you are supporting it.
 

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Lol!
Sorry for being confusing.
He is a chess player because he knows damn well we will do for him.
Everything looks good, the game board looks fine, nothing to worry about but then, bam! We end up losing!
Is this better? :)
Makes more sense! Thank you! I guess it depends on where you are in your career and what your goals are.

When the well-being of your families is on the line, do what you need to do. For less pressing issues I’d put it right back in his lap. “I’m still waiting for your decision on this.” “Hey-ho, do we have your position on the issue?” If he tries to manipulate you into doing his job, play dumb. But it’s a dangerous game if bad outcomes can impact your whole department.

In my job I frequently have to make decisions that someone above me should have made. But there are times I put my foot down and just keep sending it back. Problem is then I’m frequently unhappy with the final decision; when leaders are reluctant to decide it’s often because they’re bad at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow! Thanks Green Girl!

teachers are notoriously hard to manage. Really, you guys are famous for it. You tend to be opinionated, strong-willed, active people who are used to calling the shots in your classroom. So maybe he decided that this passive approach is the most effective management style
This made me laugh!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
...when leaders are reluctant to decide it’s often because they’re bad at it.
Yes, he’s bad at it from our point of view, but good at it from his point of view because he’s doing the littlest effort and gets big results because we are being manipulated, lol! #MrNiceGuy
 

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His game is to wait it out and make no decisions.
oh . . . one of those. the old-school feminists of the second wave used to call that klutzing out. 'i'm too helpless/inefficient/ineffectual for this . . . you do.' my only type-relevant comment on that is IF he's an intj then being decisive about things that will materially affect the lives of real people may not be his thing. but now i look back it's not clear to me if you came to us for our general ruthlessness, or because he's been reliably typed as one of our own, so use that thought carefully.

my main more-general thought is that it's probably necessary to distinguish between your frustration with him, and your frustration with colleagues who still haven't twigged that doing his job won't change anything because he actually wants them all doing his job. once you've clarified that for yourself, you can more easily decide whether to mount a resistance of one, or go for a palace revolution instead.

in info tech, it basically comes down to me saying (and saying and saying and saying) things like 'that isn't my job' and 'sure, i could. but i'm not going to.' it's easier in info tech though, because the hook that they find in my psyche is not about people at all; it's more the efficiency/clarity/direct-line type of thing. people tend to get rope for a while, but when they've used up my allowance of slack, it doesn't cause me much conflict to call a stop and just allow them to hang.

in your field, it sounds more like it's about people values. i do recall being perennially frustrated with/on behalf of an infp teacher friend who saw the dynamic clearly enough to be in a perpetual stew about it, but just.would.not tie the knot and let the noose tighten up. so it might take some additional thinking to figure out whether you're willing to let him keep taking advantage of your people-based values, or not.

for me, once i got angry enough i probably would burn the individual children and families who were just unlucky enough to be that day's worth of hostages. and i'd blame their demise on the freeloader too. but i'm more about the absolute-principle stuff, so ymmv about that.
 
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