Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Guard Against Professional Attacks And Don’t Be An Attacker

Watch out!You probably have had an experience where someone you trusted or thought was an ally, attacked you. Often it happens when you are fighting dragons and had depended upon that person to watch your back not stab you in it. That seems to be one of those life events that, if it hasn’t happened yet, it probably will.

Most of us are somewhat prepared for an attack when we know there has been  a long-standing conflict. What rocks our world is when we never expected it from that person or about that thing.

The result often is that we learn to be more cautious about our conversations and actions, even with those we would like to trust completely. The harsh truth is that the employee with whom you have shared many personal opinions may use those conversations against you. Or, the employee you have cut corners to help will resent not being helped again and will use your past actions as a weapon.  (“No good deed…etc.”)

The second part of these thoughts about being attacked is to remind you to not be the attacker. If you have a complaint to make, make it and do it openly. But, be very, very certain that the situation is so extreme you must use personal conversations or actions that were meant to be helpful to you or others, against someone. Even if you win you lose and so does everyone else.

When you drag in long ago grievances, remarks made in trust and confidence to you, or the actions of someone who clearly meant to do well by you or others, you show yourself to be untrustworthy and unappreciative and you make the other person sorry they were ever open or helpful. Oh yes, you can probably justify it to yourself  and even get a few others to agree with you. However, you can bet you will never be viewed in the same way again.

I’m not saying you should tolerate wrongdoing, just that how you handle it should be based on the whole picture of your relationship with someone and how they have acted with you and others over time. One ill-judged statement or action should not overturn years of sincere efforts to be a decent manager. One or a few times of being denied something you wanted does not merit reviewing everything you know to see what can be used as pay-back.

None of us are perched so high we can’t be attacked–and all of us can attack someone–for a reason or for no reason. Never assume you’re completely safe and never give people reason to watch their backs when you’re around.

September 6th, 2009 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 12 comments