Published by: Ellis & Stewart Publishers
Price: INR 477
Ever wonder why, despite your best efforts, you can’t get someone to side with you?
Maybe because your endgame isn’t theirs, says Dr. Stuart Atkins. Knowingly or otherwise, we are all in a game and we plan, persuade, scheme, manipulate and even blackmail to get the job done. So are you conscious of what your action plan is?
In his book, Dr. Atkins names four game plans—Supporting-giving, Controlling-taking, Conserving-holding and Adapting-dealing. He explains the plans and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each. What I like about the author’s approach is that he doesn’t slot people into a particular category and say ‘that’s it, you’re a Controlling-taking person; you’re stuck’. He says that everybody has a default plan and a backup plan. Often our default plan turns out to be our weakness instead of our strength. For instance, when we can’t get someone on our side, it could be because our default plan is their last resort.
The author discusses compatibility between people with different plans. He also teaches us to find out what our game-plan is by assessing our strengths and weaknesses and then to estimate the plans of other people in our life. So if you are an Adapter-dealer and do things quickly, and your boss is a Conserver-holder and does things in a methodical fashion, he might construe your actions as rash.
Another key point in this book is the misuse of ‘the golden rule’. The golden rule states “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Now, we know that others don’t have the same interests as us, but have we ever thought that maybe the other person wants to be treated differently?
Dr. Atkins says that we need to make people see things from their viewpoint, not ours. Tough, considering we need our needs to be met! He illustrates this with a simple example: You switch on channel 2 and you wait for your favourite programme to start. You wait for it to begin but another programme starts, you wonder what’s happened, maybe it’s a trailer. You think it’ll come on now but it doesn’t, and you wait and wait till you get irritated. Then you remember it’s on channel 4! You switch on channel 4 and are happy to find your programme on! So would you continue watching channel 2? You wouldn’t, because what you want is really on channel 4. It’s the same with aspects of our relationships—why would someone get onboard with us, if it’s not what they want?
Though most of the examples cited in this book deal mainly with workplace situations, there are a few recommendations on how to deal with your partners and your children. Yes, even tiny kids have their own agenda!
In summary, The Name of Your Game is an instructive read. It tells how to consciously formulate a game-plan to score your goals. And it teaches you how to get what you want by convincing others how they can get what they want, by joining forces with you!
This was first published in the August 2014 issue of Complete Wellbeing.