Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Last Time I Did That I Got Yelled At

"Last time I did that I got yelled at!"  No you didn't.  No you didn't.  Well, probably you didn't.

I sometimes hear that from the people I work with.  "I got yelled at.  I got in trouble."  No you didn't; in the last 20 years in the work force the only time anyone raised their voice was to be heard over the laughter.

Statements like that are indicative of a deeper issue - whether they red-flag a buried issue between supervisor and direct report, or a thin-skin.

Sue Shellenberger, in her blog post "How to Take Criticism Well" suggests that the ability to take criticism is a well-developed skill.  She includes a nifty chart on how to react, and what to do if you react badly.

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Corporate Sociopath

I started working full time and in earnest in the 80s.  It was a different time.  Unnecessarily long hours.  Cutthroat workplace competition for the next promotion.  C-Level by the age of 30!  Absolute fear of committing a CLM (career limiting move).

At one point early in my career I found myself working side-by-side with a corporate sociopath.  I didn't know it until I happened upon an article describing her qualities to a tee.  Armed with that information I was able to share it with others who were in danger, which was frankly, anyone standing between her and her goal.

The attached article lists the signs of a sociopath.  She displayed easily 5 or 6 of them.

The good news was, as long as she didn't report to you, you were safe.  Everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE who she ever reported to ended up unemployed as she plotted her upward mobility.  Those of us who reported to her, which I at one point I did, were perfectly safe as long as she detected no threat.

The truth is that the few years we worked together were the most productive of my career mostly because I knew her game and I played my part well enough that she gave me leeway.  I was, in no way, a threat.  In fact, working around her corporate sociopathic idiosyncrasies I gained many skills I wouldn't have otherwise, such as learning to recognize her many great qualities and to work together to achieve our departmental goals.

Is there a corporate sociopath in your workplace?  It doesn't have to hurt you, necessarily.  Read the article here: