How to deal with a Team member/Peer or Colleague double-crossing you often?
Corporate politics is all about survival of the fittest, it's a jungle and no-rules are the rules.
Competitive spirit within the team some times crosses the line, below are the scenarios as examples/case studies:
1. Mad rush on getting into good books of Super Boss:
If your team member or peer or colleague, springs a surprise infront of super Boss by undermining your idea and provides the artefacts(it may be cooked up and non-authentic data too) which isn't shared/discussed with you earlier or before the meeting? This behaviour is purely to get attention and score brownie points with superior by belittling you.
2. Showing off Tech skills during troubleshooting a problem:
He/she may try to take the limelight by showing off with command line interface with few commands. Even though your peer or colleague isn’t skilled on that domain or not relavent as per the role, this tend to happen often while you are steering a troubleshooting steps/process. The root cause prove to be different, but this team member/peer or colleague may try to create an image that he is hands-on in front of superiors.
3. Rush to update good news or bad news to inform senior management without discussing the nitty-gritties on how to package the news.
Often you can see certain team members would love to hog the limelight by being ahead of all in knowing or showing they know more information than others. They jump the gun, just to get extra edge or momentary popularity.
4. They may try to take credits for solving all the problems even it was cracked by their subordinates or your team.
Nobody gets fair appreciation in this person team except him. He/She gets all the accolades. Management feels he/she is invaluable and without him/her the organisation will suffer.
5. They flatter the influencers/power centers to create a lobby for them.
They carefully map people whom they feel will support their cause (during appraisal or difficult situation). Their lobby will be strong for them to get good rating and bail them out if they mess up. Most of the time, they fake their praises and goes out of the way to keep the influencers/power centers happy. They 'use' people until they are useful.
For first point, get into details. Check with multiple sources, ensure the update you have is holistic and rehearse with all questions your super Boss may ask. Always have a critical info(not known to all) handy as trump card (remember it should be a head-turner). Warn your peer in person to avoid this behaviour in future and document it.
For 2nd point, don't involve that team member/peer while resolving issues in your domain. When including your management in these kind of calls, give them summary of updates on how you are approaching and isolating the issues to find the root cause. (Do whiteboarding or use console, whichever you are comfortable in explaining the issue).
For 3rd point, create a protocol in breaking the news to Sr. management. Clear RACI matrix on who will do what will set clarity. Warn this person, if he/she still resort to same behaviour. Document it for future reference and as artefact.
For 4th point, ensure you are communicating the person who cracked the issue by sending appreciative note marking Sr. Management. Give one on one feedback on this person’s behaviour is taking undue credit to your boss and sr. Management. Prove it with data, and counter him/her in person and tell that everybody knows his/her deeds.
For 5th point, time will uncover his/her fake face. Meet this design with honesty, don’t try to mimic him/her, you will end up becoming the person whom you hate.
There is no set strategy to handle these manipulators, but tried to give common guidelines to manage tricky situations. Try to do good PR in creating positive impression on you (Focus on strengthening weak areas and work on improving yourselves).
The message is "You can still do well without ruining others, but ensure you aren't becoming a victim to others who are manipulative in nature".