Weekly Business Insights from Top Ten Business Magazines | Week 319 | Leading & Managing Section | 2
Extractive summaries and key takeaways from the articles curated from TOP TEN BUSINESS MAGAZINES to promote informed business decision-making | Since September 2017 | Week 319 | October 20-26, 2023
7 Actions You Can Take When A Coworker Throws You Under The Bus
By Tess Brigham | Forbes Magazine | October 25, 2023
Extractive Summary of the Article | Listen
Everyone has had that coworker. You know the coworker who is rude to you when you’re alone but sweet as can be when your manager is in the room. The coworker who purposely “forgets” to tell you critical pieces of information, hoping to make you look incompetent. The coworker who criticizes your ideas and then takes credit for them. It can feel like a knife in the back when you realize your coworker only befriended you to gain your trust so they can take advantage of you later. Here’s 7 steps you need to do:
- Step 1. Get All The Facts. Before you talk to your coworker, you want to make sure you have all the information. Take a step back and look at the situation. Is there anything you’re missing? You want to make sure you don’t have tunnel vision, and you’re considering all sides of the situation. If this is an ongoing issue, make sure you’re taking detailed notes of what’s happening along with the time and day.
- Step 2. Prepare And Practice. Once you have all the information, the next step is to write out what you’re going to say to your coworker. This is a good way to process your feelings, especially when you’re feeling stuck. Once you know what you’re going to say, ask a friend to listen so you can practice saying it out loud. Your friend can also give you feedback.
- Step 3. Give Your Coworker A Heads-Up. Let your coworker know you would like to talk about something, and you would like to know when would be a good time to meet.
- Step 4. Have The Talk. Before you have the talk, take a few minutes to set your intention. What are you hoping to achieve by talking to your coworker? Do you want an apology? Do you simply want to let them know you’re aware of what’s happening and it needs to stop? Having a clear intention before you go into a conversation will help you present yourself in the way in which you intended. When you talk to your coworker, be clear, direct and concise.
- Step 5. Be Prepared For Anything. Let your coworker know you’ve said what you want to say, and the next time it happens, you’re going to take it to your manager. If they try to gaslight you and make you think it didn’t happen or they didn’t mean it that way, you can pull out your notes with the time, day and the specific comment (this is why you keep detailed notes!) and ask them what they meant to say. Use your good communication skills, which means only “I” statements. Don’t make accusations or threats.
- Step 6. Practice Empathy. The best way to deal with people you don’t like is to practice empathy. Why do you think this coworker feels the need to put you down? Maybe they’re really jealous of you because your manager likes you more, maybe you remind them of someone they hate who once really hurt them, or maybe they’re miserable at home because they’re going through a divorce. It actually doesn’t really matter if you know the truth behind your coworker’s behavior. What matters is how you see it, and if you can see the humanity in your coworker, you’ll be able to make peace with the situation.
- Step 7. Protect Yourself In The Future. Your coworker has shown you who they are, which means you need to start to protect yourself moving forward. Be mindful not to leave your computer open and on when you’re not around, and if your coworkers know your password or where your password is written down, change it and keep that information where only you can access it. Choose your words wisely when you send emails, texts, or slack messages, as well as in-person conversations. Don’t be paranoid and avoid your coworkers altogether because it’s important for you to have good relationships with everyone.
2 key takeaways from the article
- Everyone has had that coworker. You know the coworker who is rude to you when you’re alone but sweet as can be when your manager is in the room. The coworker who purposely “forgets” to tell you critical pieces of information, hoping to make you look incompetent. The coworker who criticizes your ideas and then takes credit for them.
- It can feel like a knife in the back when you realize your coworker only befriended you to gain your trust so they can take advantage of you later. Here’s 7 steps to do: Get All The Facts, Prepare And Practice, Give Your Coworker A Heads-Up, Have The Talk, Be Prepared For Anything, Practice Empathy, and finally Protect Yourself In The Future.
(Copyright lies with the publisher)
Topics: Teams, Co-worker, Organizational Behavior