And I’ll Get Your Little Dog Too!
Forbes created a list of steps to take if you suspect you’re being sabotaged at work. Their list is below, and I can’t say I agree with most of them. I’ll provide my list below theirs using the characteristics of The Sociopathic Business Model ™ as it relates to workplace sabotage. Think about a time in your past that you may have suspected you were sabotaged at work, and run that scenario through both processes and see which would have served you better.
- Don’t assume bad intentions (give the benefit of the doubt)
- Be alert (it’s calculated and strategic)
- Confide in a Co-Worker
- Confront “Guilt, empathy and sympathy are powerful motivators and the most direct way to extract them is by befriending your saboteur and gaining a position within their camp.”
- Don’t sabotage the saboteur
Again, it’s helpful if you think of a time you previously felt you were being sabotaged at work and think about the person and situation in these terms. I recognize being on the defensive is not a comfortable place for anyone; but, at the end of the day you have to protect yourself and cannot expect others to do it for you.
1. I do (somewhat) agree you don’t want to automatically assume someone is trying to sabotage your career; but, trust your instincts. As a woman, I’ve found that I initially gave people too many ‘passes,’ either hoping I was wrong or trying to ignore the situation and hoped it would go away. No one wants to believe they are a target, so it’s easy to understand why it’s not fun to think about the situation in those terms. Someone capable of sabotaging your career is manipulative and does not recognize the rights of others.
2. I do agree that if someone is sabotaging your career it is strategic and calculated. This person is manipulative and does not recognize the rights of others, views people as victims or accomplices and all accomplices become victims. So hiding from this situation isn’t going to make it go away, it will only get worse creating hopelessness in the victim and create an unhappy an unproductive work environment.
3. I disagree with confiding in a co-worker. Unless they are a target themselves they are likely not to truly understand the gravity of your situation. This person also may end up unwillingly and unknowingly manipulated by your saboteur.
4. I 100% agree with documentation. Emails, start a spreadsheet with dates, times, facts and others involved. Fact based evidence goes a long way. If the Company is willing to intervene, it could help eliminate the problem or the person; and in the event the company is unwilling to intervene or part of the sabotage plan then documentation is important for a potential legal team. Remember retaliation is the number one EEOC claim in 2012.
5. I agree with confronting (but with witnesses), ask for a meeting with HR and this person (at the same time) and lay out your case. When a saboteur is confronted they are likely to lie, have no shame or guilt, take credit for something you did and place blame on something you didn’t and engage in other unethical behavior. The truth is what a saboteur fears the most, and presenting your facts in the face of their lies, with witnesses, is very powerful.
- I 100% disagree with befriending the saboteur, because they are not affected by guilt, shame and have no sympathy or empathy for others and parasitic. You do not want to be in their ‘camp,’ because anyone that is in their camp (accomplice) will eventually become a target (victim). You are already a victim of their sabotage, do not allow yourself to be re-victimized.
6. I agree-Do not sabotage the saboteur. My mother has reminded me countless times, if you give people enough rope, they will hang themselves. It’s true. I know it’s tough to stay the course, but sinking to their level will.
7. I would add one more. Once you confront the saboteur this will anger them, the truth always does and it will perhaps escalate the situation. Just keep documenting, involving HR and if you’re not receiving resolution there, seek legal counsel.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear feedback as it relates to your career and suspected or cofirmed sabotage and how it was handled and how it was resolved-Melayna Lokosky