View Full Version : Dealing with competative "alpha" co workers?


Lloyd_
01-09-16, 02:24 AM
One thing I'm not good at and that's going through the whole ritual of sucking up to my superiors and trying to compete with coworkers for that "promotion". Just give me my assignments and be done with it! Don't really do well in that "prison mentality" type environment so of course people always get promoted past me regardless of my seniority wherever I've worked in the past and currently at the present.

I'm really stressing out about this right now because it's the same cycle that always occurs wherever I've worked, being the new guy and paying my dues then comes along somebody who's more competitive and whom sucks up more then of course I'll have one off week and all those good deeds are erased and totally forgotten about.

I'm stressed out over this, please lie to me and say everything is going to be ok? :rolleyes:

Hate people I swear. :mad:

InvitroCanibal
01-09-16, 05:17 AM
You need to build credability within your team. Your boss wont ever give you credit and sucking up to your boss won't help.

Look after your coworkers and then your boss will look after you.

It isn't really sucking up, it is building credability that matters. You may work hard but if your coworkers never see it then no one cares.

Being social isn't necessary. To build credability with your coworkers, you will just need to look after their needs. Care about what they care about. Just listen and ask "How can I help?"

Do this, and your boss will promote you. I gurantee it.

The reason is because anyone in a position of power has to look after the needs,of others. If you don't then you will be a bad boss and it would look badly on anyone that promoted you. Most of the suck ups,that get promoted display the ability to look after others needs. It isnt competitiveness unless they are insecure about your strengths. In which case you don't need to worry about them.

Look, just don't spend your life making more enemies then friends. I did that for a long time. I got two or three bosses fired through disputes,that could have been solved with a conversation. Instead I practiced psychological warfare on "my enemies."

It's not worth it to try to change yourself or others but you can take care of your coworkers without doing either.

sarahsweets
01-09-16, 07:53 AM
I never liked that sort of thing either. I dont believe performing well and having a positive attitude that your boss can see is sucking up. To me, sucking up would be gossiping about your coworkers to your boss and paying your boss unnecessary compliments. Ego stroking is sucking up.

acdc01
01-09-16, 11:04 AM
I guess I don't define sucking up the same as the other posters that have commented.

Sucking up (the way I define it) is about making your boss believe you are valuable. It has nothing to do with how your coworkers feel about you UNLESS it is important to your boss that your coworkers think well of you. It's usually easier to make your boss believe you're valuable if you are valuable but sometimes there's other methods depending on what your boss's personality is (hence why some people can climb the ladder with just brown nosing cause their boss is corrupt).

It's unfortunate one person's opinions can hold so much power over us but often times it does so you'll just have to convince your boss (or someone else higher your boss that might promote you) that you are more valuable than your competitors.

Rebelyell
01-09-16, 12:17 PM
This is bad at my place,my modi operandi is out of sight out of mind avoid all the wiener suckered at cost,too many donny brasco snitches I don't trust.

Lloyd_
01-09-16, 01:23 PM
You need to build credability within your team. Your boss wont ever give you credit and sucking up to your boss won't help.

Look after your coworkers and then your boss will look after you.

It isn't really sucking up, it is building credability that matters. You may work hard but if your coworkers never see it then no one cares.

Being social isn't necessary. To build credability with your coworkers, you will just need to look after their needs. Care about what they care about. Just listen and ask "How can I help?"

Do this, and your boss will promote you. I gurantee it.

The reason is because anyone in a position of power has to look after the needs,of others. If you don't then you will be a bad boss and it would look badly on anyone that promoted you. Most of the suck ups,that get promoted display the ability to look after others needs. It isnt competitiveness unless they are insecure about your strengths. In which case you don't need to worry about them.

Look, just don't spend your life making more enemies then friends. I did that for a long time. I got two or three bosses fired through disputes,that could have been solved with a conversation. Instead I practiced psychological warfare on "my enemies."

It's not worth it to try to change yourself or others but you can take care of your coworkers without doing either.

You make some valid points and also perhaps if somebody is being overly competitive they're more insecure with themselves so they have to overcompensate to where I'm pretty confident in my abilities but the reason people might not be confident in me is because I tend to let my superiors delegate tasks to me as opposed to just "going for it".

Yeah I've waged psychological warfare before and normally will pick people who are decent enough where I'll look out for them and let them know if somebody else is trying to throw them under the bus.

Socaljaxs
01-09-16, 03:16 PM
You make some valid points and also perhaps if somebody is being overly competitive they're more insecure with themselves so they have to overcompensate to where I'm pretty confident in my abilities but the reason people might not be confident in me is because I tend to let my superiors delegate tasks to me as opposed to just "going for it".

Yeah I've waged psychological warfare before and normally will pick people who are decent enough where I'll look out for them and let them know if somebody else is trying to throw them under the bus.

There will always be slimy people out there in the business world. Those individuals, That will play dirty, and will cut you or try to screw you, the second you give them the chance. Some are more/some are less obvious in their intent and nature.. So, yes I do understand the "like everyone, and trust no one" mentality when it comes to dealing with coworker in the workplace...

However, that hasn't at least in my experience thus far, been considered the mass majority of coworkers. One thing about me, that has helped me over the years is that I have been able to identify them(most of them not all though) and watch my back, in regards to those slimey coworkers... With people in general I have been very successful at reading between the lines of people well, and watch and connect certain behavioral traits (verbal and non verbal cues as well as their actions and what they say and what they do)... With that I have been able to pick up cues/traits and behaviors of others fairly well. When it comes to others people, my intuition and how I read people's character is pretty accurate.But, one can't and shouldn't focus all their attention trying to identify the slime..

For me, what I have found In terms of getting noticed and gaining promotions, is my willingness to improve not only myself but others on my team as well, and my willines to ask for, and request more responsibilities... I will set up meetings with my bosses (which most people won't due) and go over how/what they see I can improve on.. From there I focus on those improvements and follow up and have always asked for more responsibilities at the job, and make it a point to not only take the time to ask for help, if needed(I'm not afraid to ask my boss or team member for tips and pointers that will make me better at my job) I will always ask my supervisors on feedback to improve my quality of work... I've found my willines to ask and work on it has gained me many promotions due to my openness to learn

kilted_scotsman
01-09-16, 06:03 PM
Remember that any workplace environment is a two way street......

Bosses think they are in charge, however the research I did for my Masters way way back in the mists of time showed this isn't really the case.

Workers were manipulating the bosses, in ways that were overt (ie obvious to anyone with half a brain), covert (difficult to spot unless you were in the know) and subconscious (even the person doing the manipulating didn't know... even though their colleagues sometimes did).

Choosing a good job is less about choosing the work, it's more about choosing your colleagues and your boss. you can find a dream job only to have a boss change or new hire mess it all up.

Remember that "alpha" co-workers may just be good at their job.... your word is apt, they may not be "sucking up" maybe they like the job, they like the boss, they like going the extra mile, it's part of their nature..... and they get promoted... end of..... seniority/Buggins turn is 19th century management justifiably scrapped in good organisations.

Having.. and keeping a positive outlook through thick and thin is likely to pay off in the long term..... in a good organisation it is appreciated... in a bad one it'll help you make the friends who'll get you out.

EuropeanADHD
01-10-16, 06:16 AM
You need to build credability within your team. Your boss wont ever give you credit and sucking up to your boss won't help.

Look after your coworkers and then your boss will look after you.

It isn't really sucking up, it is building credability that matters. You may work hard but if your coworkers never see it then no one cares.

Being social isn't necessary. To build credability with your coworkers, you will just need to look after their needs. Care about what they care about. Just listen and ask "How can I help?"

Do this, and your boss will promote you. I gurantee it.

The reason is because anyone in a position of power has to look after the needs,of others. If you don't then you will be a bad boss and it would look badly on anyone that promoted you. Most of the suck ups,that get promoted display the ability to look after others needs. It isnt competitiveness unless they are insecure about your strengths. In which case you don't need to worry about them.

Look, just don't spend your life making more enemies then friends. I did that for a long time. I got two or three bosses fired through disputes,that could have been solved with a conversation. Instead I practiced psychological warfare on "my enemies."

It's not worth it to try to change yourself or others but you can take care of your coworkers without doing either.

This sounds convincing but according to what I've witnessed in my jobs, that's simply not true. Promoted are people who suck up and who pretend that they help the others. I've made the mistake of trusting my coworkers several times and I know if they can use the knowledge against me, the "alpha" people will.

I'm not a shy or introvert person myself, but I would never behave like they do so I find it difficult to understand and deal with their behavior.

Little Missy
01-10-16, 09:14 AM
I'm not into competition.

Greyhound1
01-10-16, 10:44 AM
I am not good at sucking up to authority figures, boss or management. It just looks so fake and obvious to me. I always felt like they would see right through it and label me as a fake. I mistakenly believed, I would be judged mainly on my work and performance.

Obviously, I am wrong and many get ahead sucking up. Below is the sad truth.


Suck Up and Move Up
Sad to say, but a University of Texas study shows that sucking up is a good way to get ahead.

Aching to get yourself named to a board of directors but don't know how to break into that elite crowd? Don't waste your time proving how smart you are or flaunting your listing in the social register. Instead, try another classic corporate strategy: brown-nosing.

In their new study, "The Other Pathway to the Boardroom," the product of a survey of 1,012 senior managers and CEOs at 138 major companies, James D. Westphal, professor of management at the University of Texas at Austin, and Ithai Stern, a doctoral student there, show that exhibiting "ingratiatory behavior" toward your chief executive does more to help you get a board appointment than does brandishing a passenger manifest from the Mayflower or an Ivy-covered sheepskin. Put simply, sucking up trumps a noble birth.

Surprisingly, Westphal and Stern also found that women and ethnic minorities — probably because they lacked as many elite social connections — were significantly more likely to use this path to the boardroom than their richer, whiter comrades. "The most efficient way to get more board appointments is to engage in political behavior," says Westphal, a prolific young professor who has contributed many landmark studies about corporate governance. "People feel a natural obligation to help those who have ingratiated them."

Ingratiatory behavior, the authors say, means using flattery, doing favors of some kind, or reinforcing a CEO's existing opinion. They were able to quantify the results in startling detail: In a 12-month period, challenging the CEO's opinion on a strategic issue one fewer time, complimenting the CEO on his insight two more times, and doing one personal favor increased by 64% the likelihood of an appointment to a board where the CEO was already a director. "I was surprised by the sheer magnitude of the effect," says Westphal.

There's something appealingly democratic in Westphal's findings: Sucking up, after all, is the ultimate equal-opportunity strategy. Yet the implications are worrisome for those who believe that a more diverse board is a more independent board. If brown-nosing propels directors — be they women or minorities — into their powerful roles, why would they act any differently afterward? Flattery, it seems, really does get you everywhere.

acdc01
01-10-16, 11:52 AM
Thanks for your article greyhound. Sad brown-nosing means so much but your article does seem to suggest that it does.

When I think about who's on top at my company, it's not the smartest people and most are actually not loved by their coworkers at all. It's the boss that saw something in them plain and simple. I know my mom's company was the same way. So yeah, I do believe in that article now that I think about it.

Number 1 important thing - brown nose, number 2 - show boss your skills. A very, very far 3 to the point that if you dropped it it wouldn't even matter - get your coworkers to like you. Three is good for happiness but not climbing the corporate ladder.

That's really my experiences. And it sucks for us cause we are often terrible at 1.

Little Missy
01-10-16, 01:37 PM
I still don't believe in being a toadie to anyone.

Be neat and happy, arrive early, never ask for days off, don't talk to or hang out with the people you work with and give 110% every day. If that doesn't get you anywhere then there was nowhere to go in the first place.

stef
01-10-16, 02:22 PM
I still don't believe in being a toadie to anyone.

Be neat and happy, arrive early, never ask for days off, don't talk to or hang out with the people you work with and give 110% every day. If that doesn't get you anywhere then there was nowhere to go in the first place.

but Wait tho if you genuinely like the people you work with ....sometimes there are good colleagues and good people
be genuine dont worry about office politics. i mean, dont have phony work conversations. avoid gossip at all costs.

Little Missy
01-10-16, 03:51 PM
but Wait tho if you genuinely like the people you work with ....sometimes there are good colleagues and good people
be genuine dont worry about office politics. i mean, dont have phony work conversations. avoid gossip at all costs.

yeah, I meant that but just didn't explain myself well.

stef
01-10-16, 05:57 PM
there is another thing about this, if you do well at your job and just " naturally" earn well deserved recognition, there can be a few people who assume that you sucked up to people. Because thats how they work!

in our firm i have this lovely colleague (an assistant like me) who just naturally gets along with people and doesnt even think about her position or trying to looking good or whatever, and shes quite good at her job, we used to share an office but her team moved upstairs; so these partners like her and chat with her and she said once, stef they're jealous of me!

Lloyd_
02-13-16, 05:06 PM
there is another thing about this, if you do well at your job and just " naturally" earn well deserved recognition


I need to come to work where you're at then. This isn't the case at where I'm working. Even my supervisor is awesome at what he does but gets the shaft because he's not into going along with the political side of the workplace. He's about getting the job done, as I'm the same way.

stef
02-14-16, 03:59 AM
I need to come to work where you're at then. This isn't the case at where I'm working. Even my supervisor is awesome at what he does but gets the shaft because he's not into going along with the political side of the workplace. He's about getting the job done, as I'm the same way.

Oops well i meant " well liked" , not gettîng recognition
i.m an assistant in a law firm so we ( my colleagues) dont actually have supervisors and managers. i mean our direct bosses are the lawyers we work for.