As manipulation becomes rampant, the “Good Cop Bad Cop” strategy is one of the many manipulation strategies often being executed in a workplace.
In a Things-Hue-Vomit podcast episode aired last April 21 with H, Reg, and Abet, they boldly discussed the “Good Cop Bad Cop” strategy. Here’s how you can identify them, how you can protect yourself from an environment operating this gaslighting strategy, and ways on how you can address it:
WHAT IS THE “GOOD COP BAD COP” STRATEGY?
As mentioned by Reg, the "Good Cop Bad Cop” tactic is primarily depicted in films wherein it involves two negotiators in an interrogation. One acts as the “good cop” who poses a friendly attribute, and the other negotiator acts as the “bad cop” who poses a brutal and hostile characteristic. The goal is to psychologically manipulate the person being interrogated and get them to make unintended concessions.
However, this negotiation tactic is not only being executed on the silver screen but also in the real world — most often seen in a workplace.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY IT?
“It’s when escalation arises and nothing happens”, H stated.
Suppose an employee voices out a concern, and the management acknowledges it, but nothing happens afterwards. In that case, one can already identify this as a sign that a manipulation strategy is happening in the environment. It is also a red flag when you see that connivance is happening, Abet added.
Most importantly, it is when you realize that your concerns are not their concerns. Today, “people are treated as a number not as a person”, H expressed.
WHY IS THE GOOD COP WORSE THAN THE BAD COP?
In the “Good Cop Bad Cop" strategy, the “good cop” usually poses a charming and friendly attitude that makes them gain their target person's trust. Unfortunately, this strategy goes hand in hand wherein the “good cop” is actually the mastermind who makes every aspect of the tactic in sync for it to work effectively.
Abet expressed that this is where psychological manipulation occurs as both characters work together in painting a good picture of the good cop and preparing the bad cop to accept all the blame.
In optimizing the strategy, there are circumstances wherein the roles of both characters can be reversed, Abet added. Nevertheless, it all boils down to taking out all the fantasy in the scenario and seeing through the person, Reg advised.
HOW DO YOU ADDRESS IT?
If you see yourself in an environment operating the “Good Cop Bad Cop” strategy and realize that the set-up will have no contribution to your personal growth and development, you have the option to leave.
Another way to address the scenario is to identify all the factors behind the mobilization of the strategy. Remove all masks. Know all sides of the story. Once you have identified all the possible factors involved in the system, you will now have the power to make an unbiased decision.
“As the person receiving this gaslighting, you have to identify — who is making me trust him/her the most? Dive into their cores. Dive into their internals.” H explained.
As mentioned by H, Reg, and Abet, at the end of the day, this strategy is all about politics.
It can be as complex as it gets.
Join the conversation and listen to the full Things-Hue-Vomit podcast episode by clicking the link.