Mailvox: Breaking the Gamma

A reader writes of how using the SSH helped him to avoid trouble at the workplace:

I was recently able to use the SSH to manage an employee.

We had a new worker with us and from the first moment, I knew he’d be difficult. He turned up late, answered back, tried to tell experienced employees how to do the job, etc.  He wouldn’t cooperate with the guy he was assigned to work with, so I called him over and said, “There’s a hierarchy here, so if Marty tells you to do it a certain way, that’s how you need to do it.” He immediately got defensive, saying, “Where is this coming from? Why are you talking to me like this? You don’t need to talk to me that way.”

Thanks to your insights into the SSH, I realised that was he was doing was an attempt to make himself a victim, so I said, “Stop. This is not a conversation. The ONLY words you need to say are ‘I understand’. So… do you understand?”

Anyway, we didn’t have any further problems with him. My point is that before I read your SSH insights, I wouldn’t have recognised his behaviour for what it was and I certainly would not have known how to deal with it. So, thanks!

I’d still keep an eye on the guy. He may have enough sense to learn his place, or he may simply be waiting to take his shot at the hated workplace Alpha. Which is why, if the Gamma acts up again, the boss should not hesitate to get rid of him.