3 Ways To Deal With People Who Play Office Politics Against You

Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#2
Back in 2011, I began a thread Sometimes life just isn't fair! -"workplace drones"
in which I discussed "workplace drones" - the folks who seem to lead charmed lives, getting everyone else to do their work while they just keep getting raises and promotions which should rightfully go to others.
The drone is really the master at office politics - and we victims have really been training them from early on on how to hone their skills.

I wrote:
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Drones don't consciously set out to be drones; they learn to be really good at it, though, because there are so many "enablers" who say or think to themselves, "I can do this in a flash and then it's done. Why have this dummy gum up the works because he can't do his job?"[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]For me (in hindsight, of course, because I sure didn't recognize it then), my first introduction to a drone was in second grade - Joey Rizzo. Joey whispered to me, "How do you spell 'pencil'?" I whispered the answer back because I wanted to be a 'good guy.'[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]By the fourth grade, Joey had 5 or 6 of my classmates letting him copy homework and whispering answers during class. I moved to a different school then and no longer saw Joey, but I have every confidence he grew up to be a great drone, because he was so good at making others feel good about doing Joey a "favor."[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In high school, I knew both guys and girls who were dazzled by some classmate of the opposite sex and rushed to "help" by tutoring or any other ploy that would get them closer to the object of their crush. Heck, it is a common plot in "after school specials" on TV. Little did they or I know we were training these charmers to be drones. In college, I "edited" all of one girl's essays in a sociology course. We both got A's and I never saw her again once the final grades were posted. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Let me be one of the first to admit I have frequently been taken advantage of by drones. With an outsize ego like mine, I am a sucker for "you do it in such a superior manner." When I was struggling to maintain a place in the executive suite, I did anything I could to make allies and avoid making enemies. Even when I knew I was being exploited by a drone, I fooled myself into thinking I was really using the drone, not vice versa. Hindsight is always 20/20. I recognize now I was the real victim and any benefit I thought I was getting was fleeting and not worth my "payment."[/FONT]
Drones and "evil" practitioners of office politics do real damage to organizations in this way:

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]There were two main parts to our discussion - [/FONT]

  1. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the real and collateral damage caused by worker drones[/FONT]
  2. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]strategies to remove or rehabilitate drones.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]We pretty much all agreed at our dinner party on these damage points:[/FONT]

  1. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the drone is harmful to the people he directly exploits to perform his work because he makes them work more and harder than they are paid to do[/FONT]
  2. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the drone is harmful to people he directly exploits by damaging morale and increasing frustration, which often causes them to leave a good job rather than do something to remove the cause of frustration and bad morale[/FONT]
  3. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the drone is harmful to the organization by reducing net efficiency of the work force[/FONT]
  4. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the drone is harmful to the organization because he damages morale of other workers[/FONT]
  5. [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]the drone is harmful to the organization because he may directly or indirectly cause productive workers to leave the organization[/FONT]

The $64 question for all of us has two parts:

  1. How do we protect ourselves from the damage of a drone or office politics player trying to make US the victims?
  2. How do we protect the organization (and ultimately our OWN success) from the drone or office politics player?
In our thread Ethics - Moral law vs. Criminal law, we discussed concepts which might be expressed in these guidelines:

  1. Look out for your OWN welfare and that of your family BEFORE you confront any "evil doer" in your organization.
  2. Consider your motive before engaging in any direct or indirect action against the evil doer (sometimes discretion IS the better part of valor.)
    Above all, choose your battles. Consider yourself. Consider your own REAL motive for doing this.
    • Are you afraid life, health, safety of people are affected by the wrongdoing? Do it!
    • Are you just hoping to get a reward (10% of moneys recovered from wrongdoing corporations?) Maybe do it
    • Are you just getting even with the SOB who promoted his brother-in-law or got promoted himself instead of you? Think twice.
    • Did the guy humiliate you in public and now you are going to get even? Don't waste your time.
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Thx for taking up the issue AnaMaria.

I did not read all the text, but I watched the video and to put it as nice as I can: what an idiot, I hate fellows like that.
(Sorry)
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Wes: I am not sure if it is a drone, but I have also met the types, who is like, oh I am already working on that, oh that is seen before etc., when you come up with a totally new idea or new information.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#5
I, of course, could teach a master class in dealing with the guys who want to diminish you in the workplace by belittling your efforts and ideas with, "Oh, that's not new. I've seen that before."

I survived 40 years in the C-level suite by turning those guys into simpering children. The first response you need to make is "inclusive." You say, "Wow! That's terrific! Could you just go over the details for us now as to what parts worked and what didn't and why so we can all avoid any blind alleys?" Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the jerk will just stand there, stammering. Once, about 20 years ago, the guy excused himself for a 'bio break' and never returned. The others around the board room just sniggered and I went on with my pitch.

The one time the interrupter DOES have cogent remarks, listen, learn, and be sure to say "Thank you for saving us from wasting our time." (note: "us" NOT "me" - always ally yourself with the group!)
 

Mikael

Quite Involved in Discussions
#6
Thx Wes but I already knew that :notme: lol :rolleyes:
(I will remember that)

I see two challenges here: first one is, if it is you boss or customer, who needs to always feel they are the champ. At my last workplace I never confronted him, but I became more alert too see how far he would go and of cause my motivation for teaching him droped to zero.
Second if you have already put some points or details, you can just clearly hear how they try to make further reasoning into it. If you start discussing with them, you just get even more upset.
 

Wes Bucey

Prophet of Profit
#7
Thx Wes but I already knew that :notme: lol :rolleyes:
(I will remember that)

I see two challenges here: first one is, if it is you boss or customer, who needs to always feel they are the champ. At my last workplace I never confronted him, but I became more alert too see how far he would go and of cause my motivation for teaching him droped to zero.
Second if you have already put some points or details, you can just clearly hear how they try to make further reasoning into it. If you start discussing with them, you just get even more upset.
Yep. Two things. Same as playing poker:

  1. Never let 'em see you sweat!
  2. It's all in the tone - you ALWAYS act as if you are eager to learn from this "shining light" (it could happen) and you withhold ANY comment if/when he flops - that's for the other witnesses to think or say. If anything, after a flop, you could twist the knife a little by saying, "Oh, that's disappointing. I was REALLY hoping to learn something." without any hint of a smile.
Tantrums and deep funks have no place on the job. If you can't keep it together in the face of adversity, you'll need a lot of "bio breaks" to avoid showing vulnerability to the wolves. The sad truth is that once the pack leader [of the moment] has drawn blood, the rest of the pack will close in for the kill. The smart workplace politician just steps off to the side and watches the frenzy, taking mental notes for future use, not getting any blood on himself.


While we're at it - rumors and gossip are to be listened to, NEVER passed on to someone else and NEVER acted upon. Don't get sucked into the bogus theory of "I told you something, now tell me something." That gossiping and rumor mongering does NOT improve one's stature with the powers that be. In fact, rumor mongers soon find themselves shut out of the loop.


Next time you get someone demeaning your ideas, try my method - remember to keep your cool. Don't challenge him on his "facts" - just keep asking "and then what?" until one of two things happen -


  1. you are convinced the guy is a jerk, or
  2. you are convinced he is a genius.


In the case of a jerk, give a weak, "thanks for your input." If you did it right, others will ALSO recognize the jerk and privately give you points for not losing your cool.


OR Swallow your pride and acknowledge the genius. I made a lot of money working with people who knew things I didn't.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#8
Some posts in this thread were reported. I'm not sure what the scoop is, but let's keep the thread on track and impersonal. This is NOT the Controversial Forum where "anything goes".
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
John Broomfield Five ways to botch your supplier management program Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 7
C Design Control - Ways of capturing inputs from manufacturing Other Medical Device Related Standards 5
S Ways to attract clients - Flyer distribution in Toronto, Canada Service Industry Specific Topics 1
S Ways to demonstrate objective evidence that employee is trained and competent ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 28
J AS9100D - Good ways to document an internal audit plan / schedule Internal Auditing 25
S What are some ways to demonstrate Effectiveness of Training? ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 29
L Ways to improve testing on our department - Project Kickoff Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 4
E Best Ways to Close a Project APQP and PPAP 3
F Supplier Audits - Creative ways to gain confidence in the next Supplier Training - Internal, External, Online and Distance Learning 6
M Can Six sigma support ISO9001? If yes, in what ways? Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 5
N Ways to Destroy Scrap Parts AS9100, IAQG, NADCAP and Aerospace related Standards and Requirements 10
A Creative ways to access Expert Information when you can't afford a top $ Consultant Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 7
C Appropriate ways to address Competency? Generic vs Specific ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 2
C Ways to check to see if the gage is being used General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 11
Marc Retail stores plan elaborate ways to track you After Work and Weekend Discussion Topics 0
C Which of these 2 ways would you implement a Quality System? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 6
S Change in Career Path - Logical Steps Up and Ways Forward Career and Occupation Discussions 3
R 6.2.2 - Any other ways to satisfy it if No Performance Evaluation carried out? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
K Recognition of team members in ways other than money? Customer Complaints 5
K Ways to Improve Document Control Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 10
L Creative and powerful ways of Communicating your QMS to your Employees ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
N Different Distribution Parameters when analyzing the same data in different ways Using Minitab Software 8
J What are the best ways to capture Customer Perception? ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
bobdoering Dr. Wheeler on "How Measurement Error Affects the Four Ways We Use Data" Measurement Uncertainty (MU) 0
M Ways to encourage participation of other dept in preparing for the surveillance audit ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 9
D Other ways to Measure Customer Perception apart from Surveys ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 12
M Plastic Mold Approval - What are the ways to reduce mold approval cycle? Manufacturing and Related Processes 8
V Ways to Recycle Paper Miscellaneous Environmental Standards and EMS Related Discussions 15
P 5 Ways to Ensure Mediocrity in Your Organization Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 2
N Ways to avoid injected bugs while Bug fixing (software) Problem Solving, Root Cause Fault and Failure Analysis 5
A Ways of Gathering Customer Feedback ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 7
A Definition Modify, Magnify, Minify, and Substitute - Seeking practical ways of differentiation Definitions, Acronyms, Abbreviations and Interpretations Listed Alphabetically 17
S Lean - Ways to Measure Equipment Flexibility - Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) Lean in Manufacturing and Service Industries 2
C 5 Ways to Find Product Standards AQL - Acceptable Quality Level 0
V ISO 9001 Virtual Audits - Ways to audit remote locations such as design centers General Auditing Discussions 6
R CMM Machine upgrade - Ways to reduce CMM inspection cycle time Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 5
D Ways where a Document Controller's Effectiveness could be enhanced. Document Control Systems, Procedures, Forms and Templates 2
K Creative Ways to Communicate Customer Complaints to Manufacturing. Customer Complaints 10
Y Perform 2 ways ANOVA in minitab with non normal data involved Using Minitab Software 5
T "Creative" ways to handle Early Production Containment Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 9
A How many ways do you classify your scrap? Quality Tools, Improvement and Analysis 15
apestate Vibration, Measurement and Isolation - Good ways to isolate M&TE from vibration? General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 9
A Sampling Plans and Cpk - Ways to Calculate the Sample Quantity Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 15
R Looking for Advice on ways to collect Inspection Data Electronically Quality Assurance and Compliance Software Tools and Solutions 7
B 20 Ways To Annoy Your Public Bathroom Stallmate Funny Stuff - Jokes and Humour 7
K Inspection: Looking for ways to check 10 x 20 foot "checking aid" mylars Inspection, Prints (Drawings), Testing, Sampling and Related Topics 1
T Starting down the 14001 path - Ways to implement 14001 at my organization ISO 14001:2015 Specific Discussions 1
R Training to ISO 14001 - Effective ways to get the ISO information across to trainees Miscellaneous Environmental Standards and EMS Related Discussions 38
J ROI NPV HRV DIF or payback time? Ways to calculate cost benefit analysis Misc. Quality Assurance and Business Systems Related Topics 11
K Seeking Guidance on the most effective items and ways to Benchmark Preventive Action and Continuous Improvement 4

Similar threads

Top Bottom