The knife is also a management tool

The biggest cause of stress is your line manager.The next biggest cause is that awkward git who delights in contradicting what any one else in the team says, doesn’t believe in going with the majority, doesn’t see why they should cover/help / do someone else’s work. Bending over backwards to appease them and avoid conflict is extremely stressful for everyone else. Mediating between them and the team is stressful for me. 
Team building days are blighted. Speaking as your manager I would love to get rid of them to. However being a colossal pain in the arse, a negative influence and not a team player are not in themselves grounds for dismissal, although they probably should be. 

The recognised methods of dealing with this situation may not apply. That is send them on a full time MBA, second them to another team/project/ organisation, encourage them to go for a promotion, restructure the service doing away with their post. 

Assassination may seem extremely but in this context we are not talking about killing them just their career. Part of being a manager is to support team members and have their backs. In practice this means that when a colleague, a senior manager, a politician or someone from another agency criticises, expresses concern or raises questions about their manner , style, attitude, methods  you do not defend them. You do not say they are a safe pair of hands. You do not say they are very experienced and competent. You do say this is not the first time concerns have been expressed. You do say you’re aware of the issues and have raised these with the individual. You express your disappointment that these issues have risen again. 

This may wound them but not kill them. If you know they have a tendency to rub people up the wrong way then putting them forward for lots of corporate and inter agency working groups should further undermine their position. Let their blunt  speaking, lack of diplomacy and argumentative nature do the work for you. Give them lots of opportunity to do media interviews and address public meetings. Finally “reward” them with  a high profile project so that they can get the recognition they deserve! 

Not so much murder as self inflicted injuries.

Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger 


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