We play too many games

Play 'N' the Game album cover

Image via Wikipedia

This is not a post slamming gamers. I’m talking about different kind of games. The games we play at work, when dating, with our family members or our friends.

In an ideal world, communication would be direct, clear, honest. But we hide behind a lot of subterfuge, sending mixed messages and complicating the simple.

We put on facades, execute overly contrived strategies and in the end, we get so lost in the games we play that we forget and totally miss the objective.

I can safely say I didn’t play any games when I was on a casual ‘lunch date’ today. We talked, it was good conversation and it might just end there for all I know. Other women might play bait/switch, make gestures showing interest and all that. I leave those kind of games to insipid women’s magazine relationship articles. It was simple today. He talked, I listened. I talked, he listened. At the end of it, I was direct and clear (I think) and told him “You can call me if you want.” That’s exactly what I meant. If I thought he was boring/scary/not someone I’d see again, I’d have said thanks for the company. And left it at that.
Work is a different story. The communications field is a tricky minefield where strategy and approach is always bandied about. How do we make the client see that our counsel makes sense? How do we convince media our client has something to say? The direct approach, I find, isn’t always the best. Different landscapes and people require different tactics. Sometimes it’s the iron fist in the velvet glove. Sometimes it’s outright flattery. Sometimes I need to play the personality card or the ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ game.
If I see it as a game, work is a little more enjoyable. But at the end of the day, there are real things at stake – reputation and revenue. Work may be a game but it’s a serious one. I’m still learning the rules as I go along but I’m finally, finally catching up.

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