WHEN SOMEONE AT WORK talks badly about
you behind your back, puts you down, interferes with your work,
makes you mad, or otherwise makes trouble for you, the natural
tendency is to focus on them. You want to get back at
them. You want to talk badly about them behind their back,
put them down, make trouble for them in some way.
But I want you to consider the possibility
that returning like for like is a mistake. Look at the three
practical steps below all of them effective ways to deal
with troublemakers and notice: None involve talking about,
thinking about, or speaking with the troublemakers themselves,
because that doesnt work. Heres what does
1. Do your work extremely
well. Think of your level of excellence as a sliding scale,
from doing as little as you can do without getting fired all
the way up to doing your very best every second you are at work.
At any given moment, you are somewhere between those two extremes.
Move yourself further up the scale and you will feel more confident
of your position. Doing your work well counteracts the feelings
of insecurity a troublemaker can cause.
2. Keep your integrity
level high. Doing anything unethical will increase the insecurity
you feel. Conversely, the more you act with honesty and fairness,
the better you will feel about yourself and about your position
3. Stay in good communication
with everyone else. A common response to feeling that someone
is out to get you is to withdraw. But thats a big mistake.
The universe of human opinion abhors a vacuum, and if a troublemaker
says something bad about you and the listener hears nothing from
you, guess what? The slanderous information will tend to hold
the floor from lack of any other viewpoint. Your bosses and coworkers
may be mature, rational people, but human emotions still influence
their decisions, opinions, and conclusions. Stay in communication
with people not trying to prove anything, but just being
yourself and the reality of who you are will help negate
any rumors about you.
DO THESE THREE and the threat from the
troublemaker will be minimized. You cant really get rid
of such an element for good. Thats the trouble with troublemakers.
They are bound to crop up now and then, as inevitably as a bad
storm. If you try to argue with them or fight with them or use
their tactics on them, you will lose. Theyve been at it
longer than you.
Do your work to the best of your ability,
conduct yourself honorably, and stay in good communication. Your
position will be solid and the storm will pass over you without
so much as a shudder.
Do your work exceptionally well,
keep your integrity level high, and stay in good communication
with everyone else.