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Nobel prize–winner and game theory pioneer Reinhard Selten observed that people work diligently to be rational ex post. That is, we commonly look back at how a situation played out to try and understand how a better outcome might have been achieved. This contrasts with a game theory approach in which the goal is to develop a strategy that will lead to that better outcome a priori.
- Five essential people skills:
- rapport building
- and conflict resolution
- Assertiveness: the ability to speak and act in ways that naturally cause people to respond attentively and positively.
- Use phrases like “You could be right about that. . . .” or “I understand how you feel. . . .”
- Keep a diary of aggressive and passive behaviour on your part.
I am reminded of the writings of an Anglican bishop:
When I was young and free and my
imagination had no limits, I dreamed of
changing the world;
As I grew older and wiser I realized the
world would not change.
And I decided to shorten my sights
somewhat and change only my country.
But it too seemed immovable.
As I entered my twilight years, in one last
desperate attempt, I sought to change
only my family, those closest to me, but
alas they would have none of it.
And now here I lie on my death bed and
realize (perhaps for the first time) that if
only I’d changed myself first, then by
example I may have influenced my
family and with their encouragement
and support I may have bettered
my country, and who knows I may have
changed the world.
Political Intelligence requires a thorough understanding of the dynamics of leverage, which simply means your ability to get others to do what you want.