Are co-workers undermining co-workers?
“Motor Mania” is the 1950 Walt Disney cartoon where, once in his car, mild-mannered Goofy becomes road-rage Goofy, returning to mild-mannered Goofy once he reaches his destination.
If you drive you know you’re surrounded by “road rage Goofy’s”; individuals believing themselves entitled, as though the law does not apply to them, who will do whatever they feel will advance them past everyone else.
But what happens when they get where they’re going, for example, to work? For that matter, what happens when you get to work?
Obviously, we can’t allow ourselves to get as out of control at work as Goofy did driving, at least not if we want to stay employed. That said we still do we experience a lot of passive/aggressive co-workers undermining co-workers, some of it our own doing.
Work requires us to channel anger into a more benign but nonetheless disruptive form of expression.
Instead of screaming we scheme, we don’t threaten we plot, we undermine rather than support co-workers we see as our competition, and none of this does the company, or us, any good.
You might attempt to self-justify your words and actions, and while others won’t necessarily know, you know when your real motives are not what you want others to believe them to be.
To check this you can and should impose three personal behavioral rules on yourself.
What? Why? For What Reason?
Monitor yourself, question your motives for even thinking what you ultimately might say or do:
- What are you really trying to accomplish? You do know so begin by being honest with yourself. Don’t feed yourself the justification you’ve devised for others until you make absolutely certain it is the truth.
- Why must you do or say whatever you feel so certain must be said or done by you? If it really is that important you should know, and if you don’t, take more time to figure it out. And once again, this is not the justification you’ll offer to others for your actions and words. This is cold, hard truth.
- Finally, what do you hope to accomplish by what you plan to do and/or say? If the answer even suggests some potential personal benefit to primarily or only you, go back to step 1 and begin again.
“I’m happy she got the promotion, I hope it works out for her although, based on her past, I have my doubts.”
“You should have seen him at last Friday’s happy hour. Totally wasted!”
“NO cooperation with production! No matter what they ask for, don’t give it to them.”
You’ve likely heard similar things where you work, possibly even said some of it yourself.
Nothing as overtly dangerous as the everyday discourteous drivers we’re all subjected to, and certainly nothing as bad as out-of-control Goofy. But damaging nevertheless.