Remember those kids in football or netball or whatever sport you played, that would never pass the ball?
‘Derek, I’m open! Here Derek’
‘Derek mate pass back, pass back’
‘Dez mate here, I’m by the goal!’
‘DEREK, YOU ABSOLUTE FUCK TARD PASS ME THE SODDING BALL!!’
This was often swiftly followed by 4 hours of you all bitching in the changing rooms, as Derek may have been given a ‘there’s no ‘i’ in team’ speech from your coach, as well as a pat on the back for being man of the match. Yup, we all know a Derek, otherwise known as a ‘glory hogger’ and unfortunately these personality attributes aren’t only made for the playing field. Nope, they will follow you through university (big up seminar team projects) and into your working life.
Yup there is no ‘i’ in team, but as it has been established there is certainly a ‘me’. With a lot of offices, there will be times when you will have to work and rely in and on a team. Teams are great for support, feedback and brainstorming ideas. However, teams can also be a cess pit of office politics that involve quiet bitching behind the water cooler and a series of passive aggressive emails and the occasional confrontational spat. The same as not being able to choose your teams in school sports, you equally cannot choose the people that you work with.
Whilst ultimately, we are all looking to get ahead in our careers, there is nothing worse than feeling like your efforts are being overlooked by a glory hogger.
Typical attributes of a glory hogger:
- Regularly updating the manager in question of just how much they are contributing to the task at hand.
- Taking all the credit for a great idea (that was either yours or a team collective idea).
- Taking your manager on and off of ‘cc’ dependant on the email and if it suits their interests.
- Being generally bossy in front of the boss to demonstrate authority making out that they are the driving force behind the team project.
- Passive aggressive emails and general condescending tones of voice to you and the team.
- The person the rest of the team would like to thump the most.
We all know one and have at one point or another had to be graced with a glory hoggers presence. Whilst, you spend a lot of your time perhaps talking to them through gritted teeth and contemplating whether to throw them out the window, there are methods in how to deal with the ultimate hog (a Derek) .
- If you’re aware that Derek consistently takes the credit for a group effort there will be a strong chance the rest of your team will be aware too. Therefore, as a team perhaps consider making a weekly report of all the various things you have all done and send it to your boss at the end of the week, so your boss can clearly see what roles and tasks each has taken on and how much time each takes up.
- Rise above passive aggressive emails. As much as receiving one makes your blood boil, don’t bite to the bait. Instead, send a carefully constructed reply and cc your boss in. Your boss will recognise the ingredients of a passive aggressive email and just through sheer embarrassment alone at being caught out, you can guarantee you won’t receive one again.
- Vent to the team. The team will only too willingly vent back and it won’t be long before said person will realise their actions aren’t being regarded as too popular. If this doesn’t seem to bother them, then vent anyway- let it all out, instead of being done for GBH as Derek is stretchered out the building.
- Organise a constructive meeting with Derek, in which the team perhaps comes together and simply tells him they don’t appreciate their efforts being overshadowed and discredited. The trick is to not become hysterical and for your reasons to be well thought out and concise. Equally, if you can avoid Derek going to HR for bullying then that’s also very good!
- If all fails get your boss involved. Unlike school, you can tell on people. This is someone who you and your team believe is not playing fairly and is affecting your working relationships. Once your boss is made aware of Derek and his hoggy ways, it will be your bosses responsibility to combat this. Derek’s appraisal being a good starting point.
Whilst having a glory hogger is an absolute pain in your rear, it, like most negative things is great character building. It is valuable experience re working alongside someone difficult and it also teaches you to exercise patience. Unfortunately for Dereck, it will also ensure your team will bond over their mutual dislike for him and that you will have many a day all going to the water cooler to regularly ‘hydrate’.