The Jerk at Work. We all know him. We all avoid him. And we really hope we never end up like him. Instead of hoping, here are the Top 5 Lessons to Be Learned from the Jerk at Work.
Lifehack.org says that there are at least seven lessons employees can learn from a bad boss.
It just so happens that I agree. Each of the lessons can be learned from watching a mean boss, a/k/a The Jerk at Work. All of the lessons can be boiled into one fundamental principle of management: Know who it is that you want to be and know who it is that you don’t.
Any employee who has had to endure the nightmare of the Jerk Boss surely will attest that, after having that experience, they never treated others in the same way. Witnesses of jerk behavior, if removed from the environment before becoming jerks themselves, appreciate the value of kindness, courtesy, and gratitude. They were starved for it and have no desire to starve others.
Adapting the seven lessons, here are my Top 5 lessons to be learned from the Jerk at Work.
- Being a jerk is a lot of work. Extra work. Nice people get their way with much less effort.
- Coping mechanisms can be lethal. When a targeted employee realizes that it’s not this fault, he gets mad. Unable or unwilling to engage in a true showdown with the Jerk, he resorts to secret plots of sabotage. All the while feigning the smile of the loyal employee. Being hated is not beneficial to your career. But being hated so much that others in the workplace actually look for ways to harm you–that is more like career suicide.
- Once a liar, always a liar. Jerk bosses tell lies to get their way. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, well, you know how it goes. After being duped a few times, an employee will withdraw her trust permanently. No matter what the Jerk says or pleads, he will not be trusted. Don’t tell lies. And definitely don’t tell them to the people upon whom you rely.
- Jerks at Work are bad for productivity. Jerks cause decreased creativity and innovation, the near elimination of successful team collaboration, increased sick time and overall, disengaged employees. None of these are good for business. And, what’s worse is that these problems will expand over time.
- Stubborn self-perceptions lead to failure. It is indisputable that innovation, which leads to change, is the way success is born. It is not until you do something different than everyone else that you can get noticed or begin to break away from the pack. Jerks are always right. And when you are always right, change is the enemy. No change, no growth.
And one bonus:
- Just look at him (or her). The Jerk is just plain awful looking. Face it, they’re not getting a whole lot of time at the beach this summer. If they left the office they’d have no one to pick on and, [gasp!] someone might just pick on them. The life of the Jerk is no life at all.