When to Surrender and Take One for the Team
Groupthink for Employees / July 26, 2021

When to Surrender and Take One for the Team As in life, people who never compromise, volunteer, or surrender their own wishes and needs to those of others—well, they might be successful but they surely aren’t popular. And frankly, I doubt they are all that successful either. Purely pragmatically, it is in your best interest to be seen as someone who will take one for the team. Your colleagues like you more and are more likely to help out when you need it. A team willing to give and take is a good place to work, as well as (usually) more effective. We all want to have a job where we love to get into work—being a good team member can contribute to that environment. So when is the right time to surrender and take one for the team? There can be any number of right times, but here are some you might want to consider if we are talking about the previous situation where someone can’t go to a high-value conference. Others have not had the opportunity. You’ve already attended twice. Is there another team member who has attended only once or not at all? Fairness might suggest that…

Are You the Fall Guy for Your Team?
Groupthink for Employees / July 19, 2021

Are You the Fall Guy for Your Team? Being the fall guy has a negative connotation. It can mean dupe but it can also mean taking on an unpalatable task to help your team. Let’s look at an example. You work in a large company with a history of developing its people, but upheavals in the industry have meant cutbacks of all kinds. You’ve been in your job for two years and, every year, the company allows your unit (three of you—YOU, Sacha, and Tim—and your manager—Gwen) to attend the conference in your field. You learn a lot each time and made useful contacts you’ve used in your work. Gwen calls a team meeting. Gwen: I’ve just had a management meeting. The budget is really tight. No lay-offs, at least for now, but they’re cutting back in other ways. You: Like what? Gwen: Well, for one thing, I only have money for three of us to attend the conference later this year. Sacha: One of us can’t go? Gwen: I’m afraid so. Tim: So who? Gwen: (not looking at anyone) Well, I was kind of hoping for a volunteer. Someone who would take one for the team. (Silence) So, should…

Should You Fight the Status Quo? Usually No.
Groupthink for Employees / October 19, 2020

Should You Fight the Status Quo? Usually No. Since groupthink tends to support the status quo and is relatively unfriendly to innovation, isn’t it your duty as an employee of the company to fight it? Certainly, companies need innovation, even if they’re not very good at it. You can count on the fingers of one hand CEOs who say, “No, no—new thinking is not welcome here.” So companies need to minimize groupthink to maximize new ideas. But while it`s good for the company, is it good for you?  Not necessarily You’d hope that suggesting a really innovative idea would have your co-workers hailing you as the new Einstein. Well, might happen but equally possibly, they`ll spend the time explaining why it won`t work. But because you’re so enthusiastic, you keep pushing. If you do it long enough, you might experience an odd phenomenon. The group may see you as generating conflict by your continued persistence insistence. Groups tend not to like and even ostracize those who rock the boat and will often interpret it as a personal failing (“She’s so hard to get along with”) rather than an effort to help the group operate more effectively. Even if they adopt…

Leaving a Bad Job

Leaving a Bad Job In previous posts, I have been talking about challenging a bad job’s ability to sap your confidence by taking a look at the assumptions you’ve made about why you stay. In this post, I want to talk about how to start the leaving process and getting into job search for a better job. The job search tactics which usually apply, apply in this case also. Dawn Rosenberg Kay has an excellent article on how to look for a job while still employed. However, I think there are special factors in a bad situation you need to pay attention to. Job hunting when leaving a bad job I’m sure I won’t cover all of them, but here are some things you need to be particularly aware of when trying to leave a bad job.   Lack of confidence. As I’ve mentioned, the worst thing a bad job does to you is attack your self-confidence. This may come out in various ways. You may undervalue what you can do and apply for jobs for which you are overqualified. Conversely, because you have lost a reliable way to assess your skills, you may overestimate your skills. What to do:…

Bad Jobs—Reasons for Staying? 2

Bad Jobs —Reasons for Staying? 2   In the first post of this series, Why Do People Stay in Bad Jobs?,http://darksideofwork.com/index.php/2019/12/09/why-stay-bad-jobs-ee/ I asked you to identify why you are staying in a bad job. In the last post, I explored some reasons often given to continue working where you are. This post will cover more. I’m already in the best company in the industry. This can happen. When Steve Jobs was alive, Apple was considered one of the best tech companies and so worth putting up with Jobs’ mercurial temper and insane demands. But why do you think you’re in the best company in your industry? Best paid? Most prestigious? Well-known brand? Whatever it is, give a hard look whether it’s worth the price you’re paying. You might feel any other company would be a move down. So what? First, your resume will always say that you worked at the best company. It might even help you move to a lesser known company with a better environment. Best should also include best for you.   I like my colleagues. Yes, that’s wonderful. But in a toxic work setting, great colleagues often mean people who have your back, or don’t point…