John Cougar Mellencamp – Uh-Huh (1983)
Some people ain’t no damn good
Narcissists. Mean spirited bullies. Glory hounds. Leaders of the clique. Every company has its share.
You can’t trust em, you can’t love em
Sometimes they’re loud and obnoxious, easy to spot. Others are passive aggressive and disguise their hostilities. Peers, bosses, subordinates–up, down, throughout the organization.
No good deed goes unpunished
Put yourself out there, they take advantage of you. Work around them, they come after you.
And I don’t mind being their whipping boy
I’ve had that pleasure for years and years
Some victims use the grin and bear it approach and internalize the stress while others perpetuate the cycle by mimicking abusive behavior of bosses and peers.
Don’t need to look over my shoulder to see what I’m after
We all have mistreated a co-worker at some point. The keys are to learn from the situation and work to improve. Listen to those who know you best. They’ll tell you when you’re out of line. My wife let me know I was allowing the culture to impact me at one place I worked. Thankfully, she opened my eyes. It was time to move on.
Time respects no person
What you lift up must fall
The bigger challenge is dealing with peers and bosses who are consistently abusive. There’s no magic cure all but the following strategies could help:
- Remember the nastiness isn’t about you. It’s a result of their lack of self-esteem and thirst for power and prestige.
- Concentrate on achieving small successes to regain confidence.
- Identify character people in the company, people who get things done without stepping on others, and work with them as much as possible.
- Stand up to workplace bullies with facts, not emotion. They often back down when you call their bluff.
- Focus on the best interests of the organization. Ultimately, this approach will win out or the company is destined to fail.
When the walls come tumblin’ down
When the walls come crumblin’, crumblin’
When the walls come tumblin’, tumblin’ down
Or you might have to accept you’re not a fit for the organization. Maybe your health and career would benefit from a change of scenery. If that’s the case, develop an exit strategy and work your plan before it’s too late.