Leading On Business: Four Strategies For Working With The “Office Baby”

I will never understand why if a person knows someone is going to be a baby about an issue, they insist on poking the baby and making it cry.OFFICEBABYCHIP

Let’s make up a scenario. You work with Bob. Bob is a major league jack-hole, baby. You know it, your co-worker, Alice, knows it, and your boss knows it. In fact, everyone knows it but Bob. Bob is set in his opinion on all things. Set so far that he is almost to a point of being blind to anything else around him. When someone goes against Bob’s opinion or what he wants, he gets all “butt hurt” and cries. He might even fall to the floor, hold his breath, turn blue and kick his feet in a tantrum. No matter what, he will never acquiesce his position and admit fault. It is always your fault. It is always your problem. It is never Bob’s. This is really too bad. Overall, Bob’s a good worker. He’s not a bully. No one wants Bob off the team, they just want him NOT to cry.

Anyone who’s had a child knows that if the baby is happy, there is no sense in poking the baby. When you poke the baby, the baby quits being happy, cries, and you have to start over again in calming the baby down. You get frustrated, the child is cranky and nobody wins.

I grew up in a military world of giving orders and taking them. If you were a baby, you could cry but still had to follow orders. This only made one party feel good and the baby grew up to be a resentful, horrible teenager (who lied about being at the library when they were really getting drunk down by the river with their friends).

If you know the baby is going to cry, don’t poke it. Try another approach.

Let the baby alone.

Ask yourself if this is really important right now? If it’s not, let the baby be. I know that sometimes I want to be heard (just like Bob) and will keep poking the baby until I get heard. If that’s the case and it can wait, let the baby be and be happy.

Give the baby a pacifier.

If it is important, don’t poke. Try a different approach. Instead of insisting to be heard, try to hear the person first. Listen, include, and see how consensus can be reached. Consensus is a sugar soaked pacifier!

Get a baby sitter.

Perhaps no matter what you do, the baby won’t stop crying. You need a break (and so does the baby). Get a third party to help mediate. There is no harm in stepping away and letting someone else step in. A clear perspective never hurts.

If you get poked back, don’t be a baby.

Perhaps the baby is trying to get you to cry in frustration. Don’t take the bait. If you get poked, just crawl away. Not everything requires an immediate response.

I don’t like drama and, for the most part, just like to get along. Poking the baby causes tons of drama and a loss in productivity. We can’t control others. All we can do is control how we approach and interact with others. If you know someone is going to be a baby, don’t poke.

What did I miss? Please like, share and/or vehemently disagree! I’d love to hear from you!

Editor’s Note: This post has been republished with permission from Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

President and Founder at Unconventional Leader, LLC
Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz, USN(Ret) works with leaders who want to lead better, get more done and leave a legacy. A retired Navy Officer, he has had two command tours and served as the Director of Security for Naval District Washington, DC during September 11th 2001 – where he was responsible for the safety and security of 25,000 people on 9 different Naval Installations in the National Capital Region during one of our Nation’s most trying times. A seasoned educator and trainer, he is currently adjunct faculty for two different universities and has taught over 20 different classes in leadership, management, human resource development, and organizational behavior. He is the author of 3 books, been published in Security Management Magazine, and has had numerous articles on teamwork and leadership published in Zig Ziglar’s Weekly Newsletter.
Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz




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