Playing chess with just one piece would be difficult!

I am often asked whether it is legitimate to consult with colleagues or superiors before meetings. Many people live in the belief that this is dishonest. So they go to the meeting, present their vote and hope that they will find a majority. This would be like playing a chess move without knowing where all the other pieces are. 


I think it's not only legitimate but also important to position your characters before important meetings. This can sound like this: 

Boss, tell me, what do you think about this topic? Am I on the wrong track here or do you support my point of view? If so, I would bring it up at the meeting. But only if you are prepared to support me. 

This is how you check your views in advance. And not live, when it counts, in front of an audience. 

Caution: There is an important boundary between discussing points of view and manipulation. As long as you have the interests of the organisation in mind, it is helpful to bundle your chess pieces. The same technique can also be used to gain personal advantages. That would be manipulation. 

Ask the other side during the meeting: "Tell me, you're in cahoots! Have you actually made an agreement?!?" Then you can answer calmly: "Of course we are in dialogue about how we can best promote the company's interests."

PS: The other side is reading along.


The chess metaphor is by Stefan Heer / Leadnow

The attitude that you can talk about many things without manipulating others is strongly characterised by Gunther Schmidt. Feedback and tit for tat also help with clarification.