Coworker Sabotage Is a Common Problem

Have you ever had a colleague that tried to make you look bad in front of co-workers or managers? It’s a common problem in the workplace.

In fact, nearly a third of advertising and marketing executives recently interviewed by staffing firm The Creative Group say that they’ve had this very experience.

Unfortunately, there are many people who think they can get ahead in life by running other people down. It’s a phenomenon that we all have to be prepared to face in the workplace. But how?

The Creative Group tapped some experts for advice on what to do when a colleague is trying to undermine you, or make you look bad:

41% of the experts said to confront the person directly

40% of believe that notifying the individual’s manager or human resources is the way to deal with the problem.

The Creative Group also identifies three types of sabotaging coworkers and strategies for dealing with them:

  1. Credit Thieves boldly steal others’ ideas and grab the glory when initiatives succeed. To help combat this, keep a written record of your activities and accomplishments, and give your manager frequent project status updates.
  2. Belittlers routinely tear others down — via put-downs and demeaning remarks — to build themselves up. Because these individuals will often back off if you stand up for yourself, try refuting their criticism, using facts where possible.
  3. Sly Sharks have a knack for leaving colleagues in the lurch. Their tactics aren’t always overt, so you may not realize you’re working with one until a critical deadline arrives.

That’s when you discover you’re unable to complete your part of a project because the sabotaging coworker has withheld important information. To prevent this situation, make sure roles and responsibilities on your team are defined clearly, and insist on regular check-in meetings so Sly Sharks can’t take advantage of lapses in oversight.

Do you recognize these sabotaging types? You’ve run into at least one of them at one time or another. Hopefully, these tips will help you to keep these creeps from undermining your career.

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