Avoiding Abuse of Rank at Work
Dr. Julie Ann Wambach is a counselor, mediator, coach and writer. She operates a web site called Right-Rank and has written a book called Battles between Somebodies and Nobodies: Combat Abuse of Rank at Work and at Home.
If you have conflicts with someone at work or at home, chances are you are trapped in a power fight.Do these stereotype characters that Dr. Wambach has identified exist in your work place?You can recognize them by their emotional and behavioral attributes.
When you feel diminished by your boss or co-worker or family member, you are in what Dr. Julie Ann Wambach calls a Battle between Somebodies and Nobodies.
Power among us, she says, comes in great part from the way we organize ourselves into hierarchies.
The Tyrant - "Of course, you will do things my way, won't you?"
Behaviors: Still, intense eye contact, quiet voice, measured words
Emotions: Flat, enjoys being in control, pretends to be calm, secretly fears others
Expects: obedience, conformity
Makes people feel: Terrified, compliant, imprisoned
The Seething Giant - "WTF are you doing, you effin'@#^%$!
Behaviors: Screams, face flushes, arms flail
Emotions: Excitable, angry, out of control, hostile
Expects: Tremble, obey
Makes people feel: Alarmed, confused, immobile, intimidated
The Gangster - "If we get rid of that one, we'll all be fine."
Behaviors: As the group turns against you, sneers, rolls eyes, scoffs
Emotions: Within the group -- some feel powerful, some are ambivalent, some are anxious
Expects: Join the gang - or get pushed out
Makes people feel: Bewildered, lonely, betrayed, beaten
Sovereign - "You are either for us or against us."
Behaviors: Turns people against one another, enforces rigid rules
Emotions: Suspicious, paranoid, sadistic
Expects: Show no dissent, no self-expression, total loyalty
Makes people feel: Cautious, tentative, avoid sensitive topics
Extortionist - "You owe it to me."
Behaviors: Invades others' space, pretends to mentor, enhances self at the expense of others
Emotions: Feels entitled, enjoys others' distress
Expects: Others to Be grateful and surrender their self-respect
Makes people feel: Manipulated, degraded, cheated
Dr. Wambach lists others including The Grandee (think Dennis Kozlowski), The Scapegoater, The Fabricator, The Gatekeeper, The Snubber, and many others.
If you would like to read this book, I would like to give you a copy. Leave your own best example of a management stereotype in the comments section. I will pick the best one after I get back from my vacation in Peru and will give the book to the winner.