The business world is the place for professionals with charm and character. However certain individuals lack those qualities yet hide the truth about their true character using deceit. They don't carry knives but if they did they would be aiming for their co-workers backside. There isn't always a rhyme or reason for those actions yet they play out in the business world on a daily basis. I am sure we've all felt the pain of that knife being thrown our way on a few occasions. These individuals seem to be plagued with multiple personalities because they seem to change depending on the current situation, who they are talking to within the company or who they are speaking to over the phone. I am here to share a few of those personalities I've encountered and tips to skirt the mild fields they plant in the course of a day.
The first mind field to sidestep happens when you're introduced to " The Sabotager "
" The Sabotager " is a person who is training you however leaves a step here, a must do information is left out of the training. This attributes to an inadequacy in data entry. They claim they told you all the steps necessary to place the order and provide the special instructions that must be included when processing the order. They related that there are important shipping rules and regulations that must be printed on the pick tickets. Another person handles your work load while you're on vacation. While on vacation they neglect to keep a report updated causing shortages at public warehouse that handle shipments for you in specified areas. This shortage causes delays and frustrates the customers. An IT manager has proof that the sheet wasn't updated from your last day of work prior to your vacation nor during your absence. Unfortunately due to relations within the company that this co worker has that report isn't considered valid and the error, the complaints and the ramifications fall on your shoulders. You are reprimanded.
There are other words and phrases used to identify these type of people and definitions that describe how they received these nick names.
- Credit Hogs: They take your idea and make the same suggestions you discussed with them and take credit, receive the glory and this is added to their " review " profile for a later date.
- Slackers: Tend to make themselves look busy, they loudly relate problems they solved a problem yet seem to process less orders, are on their cell phone's surfing the internet and find time to chat excessively about every phone call or e-mail they were involved in throughout the day. Trying to make it sound like they were so busy.
- Inadequate Managers: They feel threatened by your knowledge and work ethic. They seem to find fault in everything you do and relate conversations they supposedly have with other managers concerned about your ability to handle your responsibilities and how you relate to sales representatives. They lay the ground work that they will use against you when your review is due. You realize that their friendships within the company far out weight the truth so it's time to move on in search of another position else where. They lose a good employee.
- The Jumper: This person makes such a big deal out of someone's error that the mountain of a story they relate back to the manager is so high they have to jump down when they are done. In the course of their story telling extravaganza they are heard dropping names to the customer or sales representative, agreeing that the order was handled incorrectly and don't like being the janitor.
- The Janitor: Shares the mistakes others have made with fellow employee's, sales representatives and other manager's. Relate that they are tired of cleaning up the messes others have made. They of course don't relate the mistakes they've made, no matter how big they made have been.
- The Commentators: make demeaning remarks, rude comments and put downs.
- The Gossip Columnist: Creates drama, lies about particular incidents, tells half truths that harm the reputation of others and plays the race cards whenever they are reprimanded.
- The Pointer: Will pin the blame on others when projects aren't completed or if anything in their departments goes wrong.
When trying to decide any course of action regarding the unfairness these individuals cause in your work environment be cautious because your behavior or how you proceed may affect future career prospects. You obviously don't want to be a pushover but overreacting can cause some backlash. You also can't take this personal and not everyone that slights you is trying to cause you problems. Their are colleagues that innocently trying to bring an error to your attention just to make you aware. We all have to realize that yes, we make mistakes and the key to don't repeating those mistakes is to know about them. There may be a co worker who talks to you in what you feel is a demeaning manner and they may not be aware that they come across that way. Sit down with them and express your feelings. The majority of the time that situation will correct itself because you've made them aware. At times it won't and the behavior will continue. Relate that to a family member of friend and ask their advice on how to approach the situation.
When a rude or patten of behavior continues bring it to the person's attention, be mature, professional and level headed when relating to them that you don't appreciate their behavior and you are completely aware of the games they are playing. Keep a diary of these incidents in case the behavior escalates. Maintain copies of anything that is relevant to cover your own reputation both personal and professional.
Guarding Against Sabotage: If you're certain you've been the target of sabotage there are steps to take in case reinforcement is required.
- If other employees are aware and have witnessed any of their behavior ask them to keep a record of what they have witnessed. You only want them to record what they have seen and heard when they were in the presence of the person in question. Nothing should be related that they weren't a witness to.
- Unfortunately there are times that a bully is being directed by their boss so when presenting your case go three levels up, direct to Human Resources.
- Keep your personal feelings out of this and relate how your professional life is suffering because you are making mistakes and processing has slowed down because you keep looking over your shoulder. Your work is suffering also because your manager keeps pulling you into the office based of what they are being told and you know that they aren't aware of the that you are being signaled out and the remarks are sometimes false.
- Ask your manager to keep track of everyone's errors in relation to your department and other departments. If a specific department is only complaining about your errors and others have made the same errors then you have a case but need documentation.
- Unfortunately if the person you are up against has either family or friends in the work place you know that no matter what the truth is you will need to be on the look out for another job. Though the company would be much better off with a competent and knowledge employee they aren't aware that this problem exists and the company will ultimately suffer in the long run.