Navigating Administrative Bureaucracy

I always remind myself of these things just before any meeting with a person in an administrative role who has the power to make a decision that I want to turn out a specific way:

(1) The administrator has goals that, at most, only partially overlap with my own, and are likely to be totally different.

(2) The administrator does not care at all about how badly I “want”, “need”, or “deserve” to have the decision be made in the way that I want.

(3) The administrator cares only about making the decision in the way that she perceives as best furthering *her* goals.

(4) My job is to make the best possible case that making the decision in the way that *I* want is the way that will best further *her* goals.

(5) I must do my homework pre-meeting to try to figure out as best that I can what the administrator’s goals are.