In the last post, I covered whether to deal with underground, and often incorrect, employee perceptions. I think you need to as a manager and doing so will help address one of the most pernicious undercurrents: groupthink/group conformity....

In the previous set of posts (The Dark Side of Work Revealed), we discussed how undercurrents or crosscurrents in the workplace, such as power, groupthink, and lying, can affect your work life and career....

It can be hard to imagine that your company has undercurrents, especially since, as I say, they are not well recognized by even the most astute office politicians....

Last time I gave an example of a group meeting where you wanted to vote ‘no.’ But despite this and having promised a colleague Thomas to do so, you voted ‘yes’. ...

The Dark Side of Work Revealed Work places have undercurrents which are never spoken of but which determine whether you are successful or how far you go. But these undercurrents are difficult to pick up, so to illustrate, here’s a work scenario to show you how they operate. Deciding holiday schedules The deal Your manager wants to discuss holiday scheduling. Thomas comes to your cubicle.   Thomas: This meeting at 2:00. I think Susie and the ot...

I Sent the Truth

    I Sent the Truth In the last post, you sent in a progress report projecting a six-week overrun rather than the three months likely. But you may have set yourself up as the fall guy. Another option you had originally was to send the real report with the three month problem. What would have happened if you sent the original report to your boss, not the altered one? Your team will probably be pleased. “Now those guys will get that ...

I Lied on the Report

    I Lied on the Report In the previous post, you lied on a report by projecting a six week cost overrun rather than the three months likely. This is so the executive committee will give you the second half money to get you back on track. You push the send button to give the report to your boss, Rhonda, to present to the committee. What happens if you push the SEND button? With your boss It is as if Rhonda has been at her desk waitin...

I’d Never Lie—Would I?

    I’d Never Lie—Would I? You manage a software development group which has a multi-year project. It’s been one disaster after another. The first year, the client kept changing the specs. By the time that was sorted, you were almost six weeks behind. In the second year, the programmers ran into all kinds of problems not foreseen by the (now fired) systems architect. The programming started almost three months late. However, som...

How Do I Get Power/Influence?

  How Do I Get Power/ Influence? Let’s say you’ve recognized that you need to have influence or power in your job, either to move ahead or avoid falling behind. First and as a given, you need to do your present job exceptionally well even if it’s a joe job and you know you’d be more successful at a higher level. Bosses don’t promote people who are doing a crummy job, no matter the reason. However, that’s not enough. To posi...

Power Matters to You

  Power Matters to You In the last post, you were vying to develop a new company service. Despite your and Sarah’s best efforts, but power hungry Mike positioned himself as the only one to do it. Why should you care? So, why does this matter? You may be thinking that you’re not power-hungry so this undercurrent can’t or shouldn’t affect you. (My definition of power is later if you’re interested.) After all, you’ve got a job...