ABC of Detractors I – Q
Continued from A-H, we all know someone. Who do you recognise?
I – Interjector and interrupter Irene
The interrupter is not there to listen but feels they would burst if they don’t get to say what they need to say right then and there because it is THAT important!! They are the type who hears to reply rather than listen to understand. Interruptions alter our thought patterns and throw us of course. It is one of the most used techniques of detraction and most of us do it – quite often unconsciously. Sometimes it is sincere, for example to seek clarity on what was said or it can be a disruptive for example to state disagreement or add another dimension into the conversation. That other dimension can alter the whole course of a conversation and before you know it the subject has changed completely!
J – Jealous John
They would really like to be you or in your position. So how does this manifest in detraction? Well this is when you may find surreptitious blocking going on. They are concerned with sowing seeds of discontent in private and being your cheerleader in public. John advises you and secretly despises you. You begin to notice tongs that appear to contradict the public persona. Could be small things like not passing messages on – to or from you. Delaying actions & information sharing that would result in a negative impact on you. Jealous John is an undermining type who is motivated by jealousy and takes great pleasure in any mistakes you make or negative criticism that you receive. Not a team player!!
K – Know it all Kevin
No matter what you say Kevin will try to demonstrate his intellectual superiority. He is constantly engaged with one-upmanship and demonstrating where everyone is going wrong. He will be good at throwing around key words that he thinks demonstrates his superior knowledge. He will go on about what is wrong and pay absolutely no attention to what may be right. He is not balanced in his appraisals and will never give credit where it is due. If on the (rare) occasion he will need to concede something then it will be a partial concession which will also point out some other shortfall in the process and he will attempt to illuminate the perception that he knows best. In some situations he may be known as the armchair critic or activist. Very well read, possibly very learned but also very insecure.
L – Larking Lara
Never takes her work seriously. Wants to make a joke of everything. Sometimes resorting to ridicule and this is when the behavior becomes undermining. Can you trust her? Are you sure she can represent your interests without wanting to lark about? Such people sap your energy by having to put safeguards in place so that their behaviour does not put the mission at risk.
M – Meddling Moaning Minnie
Never satisfied until she is complaining and in your business. Rarely focused on her own work and lacks an ability to take the splinter out of her own eye (or even see that it’s there). She will spend a lot of time sapping your energy and distracting you. Complaining is her comfort zone. Your affairs is her domain. She will not take kindly to you telling her to say something nice or stay in her lane.
N – No No Nigel
Never will be a good idea as far as he is concerned. Pretends to play devil’s advocate but is really quite a pessimist and will always find reasons ‘why not’ rather than ‘how to’. Nigel is another energy vampire.
O – Opportunist Oliver
Oliver has difficulty staying focused. He is easily swayed and his principles are not very deeply engrained. Therefore he’ll want to change views and direction with the wind and be seen to be supporting what and who is popular rather than doing what is right for the mission. This creates issues of trust and reliability and again managing those dynamics in a team can often occupy too much of your time thus being a distraction. Many teams, be they a Government Cabinet, Boards of Trustees or Committee members of an NGO are always having to manage such dynamics.
P – Protocol & Procedure Pimp Peter
A delay tactic and a power play – wants to follow procedures and observe protocols to the letter – when it suits them. This is procedural rather than verbal filibustering. Peter may appear that he just wants to do things properly, but observe him in a range of situations? When he wants to expedite things will he be in favour of less bureaucracy?
Q – Questioning Queenie
Queenie tries to undermine your confidence. She is very manipulative and will try to get you to doubt your own abilities – if you let her! It’s not that she a pessimist or a worrier why she asks so many questions. It is aimed at sowing seeds of doubt and creating a negative vortex in a team or trying to push any buttons of insecurity that may exist in an individual.