I'm sure many of you reading this post have some type of insurance policy. It is a necessity if you have a bonded house, a car loan, a need for life or funeral cover and is a common instrument for dread disease cover. Dread disease generally sends shivers down your spine as an adult. It groups major illnesses such coronary disease and cancer. Insurance is meant to buffer you financially in the event of an incident that affects your health or material goods substantively. Insurance allows you to restore your position to that which was before any detrimental occurence. We know this never really materializes this way given the cost of restoring your status to its former state. So, despite the security we get from insurance, we are never really secure or immune from disaster, whether on a personal level or otherwise.
But this post is not about insurance. It is about people you work with in an organization, school or society. It is about co-workers and their effect on your state of mind or peace of mind. You see, like insurance, your workplace cannot insulate you from disaster or misfortune. In our various workplaces and workspaces, we too have to deal with dread disease and behaviour that can have a terminal effect on your psyche . And in my view the most toxic of these, is the co-worker you cannot trust, the Judas that pretends to be interested in your person but is only interested in creating an environment filled with quicksand to sink you. This type of co-worker is found in every organization and represents a clear and present danger to the synergy and trust relationship that is so vital to sustain organizations, interpersonal relationships and levels of efficiency.
These individuals often carry one torch only; self-gratification and the desire to seek favour with higher authority. They have no respect for the dignity of their fellow workers. It is not uppermost on their minds. In the world of political intrigue, they are commonly referred to as moles. Like the animal of the same name, they sniff around the underbelly of the land with an acute sense of smell for dirt. But unlike the sub terrain animal, they spread the dirt around, add their own spice to it and serve it up to others as the gospel.
As I said earlier, you find them at all levels of an organization and you will also find willing listeners too. How do we then counteract such people? This is a vital question. Many strategies can be found from persons or companies that offer HR advice. Some of the common points are:
- Build trust through purposeful actions and measure the involvement and adoption at all levels
- Make sure everyone understands their roles and hold everyone accountable.
- Maintain transparency and ensure accountability is done in the open.
- Remember that these demons are never more than 5% of the workforce, so focus on the positive 95%.
- Don't allow the organization to be held hostage by dishonest actions; address them quickly and keeping moving forward.
- Don't allow these individuals oxygen by reminding yourself to create alternative pathways to circumvent their impact.
As we move towards the end of another working year, I'm sure this post helps you recognize such persons in your work spaces, whether in schools, district offices or governing bodies or ancillary organizations operating in our sector. I hope you too find value in the pointers to counteract this "dread disease" in some of our co-workers.