— nfwyt — 4 min read
This is from a presentation by Bob Sutton who is a professor in Stanford University and author of book The Asshole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People Who Treat You Like Dirt
When you work for an asshole, the damages done are
Do remember, Negative emotion is more contagious than positive emotion.
Some diagnostic questions are
Duration ? - How long does it last ?
Temporary or Certified asshole ?
One or Many ?
Get out if situation is bad, but don't be stupid about it by burning bridges.
JetBlue Flight Attendent example.
Can you find another role in the same organization ?
There is a difference between what you do and how you do it
Most classic alpha males are "All transmission, no reception"
Find ways to limit the frequency , duration and intensity of exposure
Keep your distance from them, then you have less communication and less influence.
150ft. away from them, will feel like a different country.
Who you sit next to in open office is really important.
Slow the rhythm - Learn to wait days and sometimes weeks to respond to nasty and demanding emails. For 10 emails, respond with one email and keep it short.
Find people who can protect you
Early warning systems - When you have a nasty boss, co-workers collude together to monitor that person. Below quote from the movie 'The Proposal'
Beware, The Witch is on her broom
-- Andrew Paxton
Change your perceptions so assholes are less threatening and less upsetting - even good things.
These are methods where you work on changing the definition of the situation, so it doesn't affect you so much, even though you dont change the situation.
Becky Strategy - She started to see her tormentors as witty, funny as comedians and she would focus on admiring her skills as opposed to feeling personally attacked.
If somebody is treating you like dirt. Get some empathy for them. Start feeling sorry for them like 'Sympathy for the devil'.
He is a guy with a bad user interface but a good operating system
-- Said by some system programmer
Rise above it
When they go low, we go high
-- Michelle Obama
Talking to Jacob(CEO, Philz Coffee)
Q: What do you do with asshole customers ? Jacob(CEO, Philz Coffee): Our philosophy is be nice to them, fuck them, be nice to them.
After interviewing some people at Philz Coffee, what we found is, when they are nasty, kill them kindness. Reason you do it is, feeling sort of superiority, "You won't stoop to their level".
Temporal distancing: Look back from the future
Take a clinical perspective
Consider how much power you have in the situation, how much documentation you can get, and what your options are.
Think on how much power you have, dont be over confidence.
Sometimes people see, when you cooperate or backoff, they take that as a sign of weekness and throw more around you. These are people who take kindness for weekness.
Benjamin Franklin Method
Remember the more harm you cause, the more hate you feel. The more kindness you express, the more you come to love those you help
-- You Are Now Less Dumb, David McRaney
If you have power, apply "THE RULE"
During the interview, i tell them if i discover that they are an asshole, i am going to fire them.
-- Paul Purcell, Chairman of Baird.
This technique is by Stanford's Perry Klebhan to remove destructive big personalities like alpha types. When you have power, pick all the assholes in all teams, put them in a team like gather up all the bad apples. This have two effects,