Up to this point all of my blogs have been about the relationship between our two minds in terms of the accepted role of managers as legitimate controllers of work and the people who work for them.
My underlying assumption is that once managers realize that connective talk is far more powerful than controlling talk for productivity and employee engagement in their work, they will use more of it. But what if they can’t?
What if they have the kind of controlling, ego-centred personalities that permit only the kind of talk that degrades and humiliates; that prevents them from saying “I disagree” and compels them to say “You’re wrong” in a way that shows their superiority and, if possible diminishes you, in the process.
I’m just finishing up a book manuscript on incivility in everyday life and, not surprisingly, there is a section on bad behaviour at work. During my research, I read Robert Sutton’s “No Asshole Rule.” He’s been collecting data and writing about badly behaving managers for years. From his research, he notes that whether or not these A-holes are concerned about their behaviour but can’t control it, or are simply oblivious to it, “they infuriate, demean and damage their peers, superiors and underlings and at times, clients and customers too.” Their worst behaviours can include personal insults, threats and intimidation (verbal or non-verbal), rude e-mails, interruptions when you’re trying to explain something, simple dirty looks or treating you as if you’re invisible. Also, their favourite pronoun is “I”.
Do you have to deal with an A-hole in your workplace now, or have you had to in the past? What did they do that made you crazy? How did you feel about it and how did you handle it? In as much detail as you like, let me know by connecting with me on LinkedIn with a private message or, if you’re brave enough for public conversation, post a comment and mention me.