|Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|News||Classification of Corporate Psychopaths||Books||Recommended Links||Recommended Papers||Diplomatic Communication|
|Five Points Verbal Response Test||Rules of Verbal Self Defense||Seven Typical Corporate Email Errors||Socratic Questions||Copying with anger||Negative politeness|
|Communication with Corporate Psychopaths||The psychopath in the corner office||Coping with the stress||Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand||Humor||Etc|
Note 1: Paranoid incompetent micromanagers (PIMM), who successfully combine tight control of minute details/procedures used in performing assignments with compete incompetence are often called "control freaks" (CF). This category of micromanagers represents really nasty beasts of IT jungles who tend to completely paralyze their victims. They are dangerous corporate psychopaths completely different from PHB on Dilbert cartoons.
In this set of pages that include
we will mainly address this menace.
Note 2: Good advice about the topic is difficult to come by and depends on your concrete situation: take any recommendations with a grain of salt.
Note 3: Most people dramatically overestimate their communication abilities. As a raw estimate consider them approximately equal to your abilities to play chess.
Note 4: Communication with corporate psychopath cannot be spontaneous. It should be very formal and you should never avoid the possibility to ask the question or statement to be repeated to gain some time.
Note 5: PIMM often use term "improper communication" or "bad teamwork" for pigeonholing. Be prepared to those false accusation and calmly point out on the attempt to pigeonholing:
Jump to: navigation, search
Pigeonholing is a term used to describe processes that attempt to classify disparate entities into a small number of categories (usually, mutually exclusive ones).
The expression usually carries connotations of criticism, implying that the classification scheme referred to does not adequately reflect the entities being sorted, or that it is based on stereotypes.
Common failings of pigeonholing schemes include:
- Categories are poorly defined (often because they are subjective).
- Entities may be suited to more than one category. Example: rhubarb is both 'poisonous' and 'edible'.
- Entities may not fit into any available category. Example: asking somebody from Washington, DC which state they live in.
- Entities may change over time, so they no longer fit the category in which they have been placed. Example: certain species of fish may change from male to female during their life.
- Attempting to discretize properties that would be better viewed as a continuum. Example: attempting to sort people into 'introverted' and 'extroverted'.
The first rule of communicating with micromanager is to feed the beast regularly but never provide any information that is not strictly connected to your projects/assignments. Any information that you communicate can later be used against you. Remember that acute micromanagers are a special type of corporate psychopath and that the driving source of such micromanagers is their own insecurity as well as anxiety about failure. Keep him in the loop feeding with washout information, and then do so on a periodic basis that you can negotiate. As for the length of the period you mileage can vary. I saw pathological tenacious PIMM who, paradoxically, was comfortable with just monthly reports. You need to test PIMM tolerance and if monthly reports are enough consider yourself somewhat lucky, if we can talk about luck in such a desperate situation. With some inventiveness you can safely avoid him/her for the rest of the period.
Think about those periodic reports as feeding money into a parking meter. If you stop putting money in, your meter will run out and you can get a ticket.
You can feed micromanager with spam instead of useful information as long as the period is observed. Micromanagement is all about the procedure not about the substance and that observation alone gives you considerable leverage even on the worst of control freaks. In other words cheating is a noble art for anybody who reports to a micromanager. Usually control freaks do not have time to read all the mail and even if they do they easily swallow regular corporate BS due to self-induced overload. You need to understand the level of their competence and if it is dismal use this weakness. You can usually slightly fudge facts in your favor with little risk: they have no time to check them as they are preoccupied with some meaningless activity like creating yet another gigantic useless Excel spreadsheet that documents absurd procedure for doing trivial things.
The second rule is to sugarcoat everything. PIMM have deeply seated insecurity and their triggers go off at slight hint of criticism. That does not mean that you should avoid confrontations. Just present it as if this is a child. You can find a lot of material how teachers should behave with children and most of them are relevant to communication with PIMM.
Remember that you essentially are dealing with a sick person. You can practice feeding him/her an irrelevant information that makes him comfortable with the hope that it will let you avoid stupid outbursts of anger. But such approach failed to avoid emotional outburst confront such behavior calmly and firmly: "Understand but do not accept negative behavior."
Be assertive and confident but never trust paranoid micromanager and never try to build trust beyond some superficial ("I respect you") level. PIMMs are special type of corporate psychopaths and a psychopath is always a psychopath. Moreover they are usually very skillful manipulators and will try to lure you into frank discussions. Never bite this trap. Never volunteer any information that can be used against you. This is a war and "a la guerre, comme a la guerre" as French defined such relationships: war does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Never try to reform a PIMM. Leave this task to other people or to qualified medical personnel. To quote Susan K. O'Brien (see Tips for coping with a micromanager) ":
Micromanagement is a personality aberration of insecure individuals. Confronting them is likely to make things worse."
Never try to reform a PIMM. Psychopath cannot be reformed. Leave this task to other people or to qualified medical personnel.
Practice verbal aikido by deflecting direct questions and using indirect communication instead of direct whenever possible. Like the martial art of aikido, you don't brace yourself for attack, but try to use your attacker's momentum to thwart the advance. Rather than go into defensive mode, pretend to be proactive and cooperative and try to redirect the oncoming anger into complex question that always surround supposedly "black and white" situation.
When someone tries to put you on the defensive, thanks them but ask for more information using Socratic questions, for example:
If somebody says, 'You did this,' don't respond with
'I did not.' Instead try, 'Oh really. What area of this work looks in
danger of slipping schedule?"
Or "We really experience difficulties due to recent
change of the direction of the project. Let me explain them"
Or if you need to think about a proper response "Let me bring coffee, I will be back in a minute."
Always be indirect
Use Socratic questions; be indirect.
For more detail please check two additional pages devoted to the topic:
Mr. Gabor offers these tips for using TACTFUL conversations:
- T = Think before you speak
- A = Apologize quickly when you blunder
- C = Converse, don't compete
- T = Time your comments
- F = Focus on behavior - not on personality
- U = Uncover hidden feelings
- L = Listen for feedback
Other DOs and DON'Ts to Accompany T-A-C-T-F-U-L Strategies
DO be direct, courteous and calm
DON'T be rude and pushy
DO spare others your unsolicited advice
DON'T be patronizing, superior or sarcastic
DO acknowledge that what works for you may not work for others
DON'T make personal attacks or insinuations
DO say main points first, then offer more details if necessary
DON'T expect others to follow your advice or always agree with you
DO listen for hidden feelings
DON'T suggest changes that a person can not easily make.
Misunderstandings and communication problems remain one of the most common sources of workplace strife, and interpersonal difficulties are magnified when conflicting work styles coexist in one setting. Generational differences (baby boomers vs. GenX-ers), personal management styles, educational background, and cultural diversity are all potential sources of office misunderstandings.
While conflict is inevitable, it need not ruin your workday or cause unbearable stress. Try these conflict resolution tips to make your work environment a less stressful, more productive place:
- Be specific in formulating your complaints. "I'm never invited to meetings" is not as effective as "I believe I would have been able to contribute some ideas at last Thursday's marketing meeting."
- Resist the temptation to involve yourself in conflicts that do not directly involve you or your responsibilities. Even if someone has clearly been wronged, allow him or her to resolve the situation as he/she chooses.
- Try to depersonalize conflicts. Instead of a "me versus you" mentality, visualize an "us versus the problem" scenario. This is not only a more professional attitude, but it will also improve productivity and is in the best interests of the company.
- Be open and listen to another's point of view and reflect back to the person as to what you think you heard. This important clarification skills leads to less misunderstanding, with the other person feeling heard and understood. Before explaining your own position, try to paraphrase and condense what the other is saying into one or two sentences. Start with, "So you're saying that..." and see how much you really understand about your rival's position. You may find that you're on the same wavelength but having problems communicating your ideas.
- Don't always involve your superiors in conflict resolution. You'll quickly make the impression that you are unable to resolve the smallest difficulties.
- If an extended discussion is necessary, agree first on a time and place to talk. Confronting a coworker who's with a client or working on a deadline is unfair and unprofessional. Pick a time when you're both free to concentrate on the problem and its resolution. Take it outside and away from the group of inquisitive coworkers if they're not involved in the problem. Don't try to hold negotiations when the office gossip can hear every word.
- Limit your complaints to those directly involved in the workplace conflict. Character assassination is unwarranted. Remember, you need to preserve a working relationship rather than a personal one, and your opinion of a coworker's character is generally irrelevant. "He missed last week's deadline" is OK; "he's a total idiot" is not.
- Know when conflict isn't just conflict. If conflict arises due to sexual, racial, or ethnic issues, or if someone behaves inappropriately, that's not conflict, it's harassment. Take action and discuss the problem with your supervisor or human resources department.
- Consider a mediator if the problem gets out of control, or if the issue is too emotional to resolve in a mutual discussion. At this step, your supervisor should be involved. You can consider using a neutral third party mediator within your own company (human resources if available) or hiring a professional counselor.
- Take home point: It's not all about you - You may think it's a personal attack, but maybe your co-worker is just having a bad day. Take time to think BEFORE you speak in response to an insensitive remark. It may be that saying nothing is the best response.
Google matched content
How to Excel During Depositions, Techniques for Expert Witnesses That Work,
11 Communication Tips for a Healthy Workplace by MedicineNet.com
Improve your supervisor relationship and reduce stress - MayoClinic.com
Court Appearance and Deposition - Divorce Question
Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers : Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy
War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotes : Somerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose Bierce : Bernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes
Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law
Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds : Larry Wall : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOS : Programming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC development : Scripting Languages : Perl history : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history
The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-Month : How to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite
Most popular humor pages:
Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor
The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D
Copyright © 1996-2020 by Softpanorama Society. www.softpanorama.org was initially created as a service to the (now defunct) UN Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP) without any remuneration. This document is an industrial compilation designed and created exclusively for educational use and is distributed under the Softpanorama Content License. Original materials copyright belong to respective owners. Quotes are made for educational purposes only in compliance with the fair use doctrine.
FAIR USE NOTICE This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to advance understanding of computer science, IT technology, economic, scientific, and social issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided by section 107 of the US Copyright Law according to which such material can be distributed without profit exclusively for research and educational purposes.
This is a Spartan WHYFF (We Help You For Free) site written by people for whom English is not a native language. Grammar and spelling errors should be expected. The site contain some broken links as it develops like a living tree...
|You can use PayPal to to buy a cup of coffee for authors of this site|
Last updated: January 03, 2020