In business there have always been those who seem ready, willing and able to throw someone under the bus. It might be …
• A boss wanting to exert their power and who perhaps feels threatened by a report
• A co-worker who sees themselves in competition with another for the next promotion or raise
• An employee who is resented by another for the attention and recognition they receive from others in the company
Clearly, it is a form of bullying on the adult level. There is nothing pleasant about being under that bus. It’s often painful and damaging. It has caused many to leave their job, retreat into some cocoon almost to a point of being reclusive and/or have the one ‘throwee’ lose their energy and enthusiasm for the work they do and the organization for which they work. None of these reactions offer positives.
Still you have a choice as you emerge from under the wheels. What could one possibly learn from the experience that will help her/him move forward in a productive and positive manner and ultimately be the winner? Here are some thoughts and ideas for you to consider that can turn this unwelcome and uncomfortable experience into a valuable step from which we learn and potentially minimize the impact it can have on us as well as the chance that we will ever experience this again.
- Learn from whatever the situation.
- What created the situation to begin with?
- In replaying that, what do you know you could do differently going forward that minimizes this happening in the future?
- What could or would you change in whatever you did that leaves less room for misinterpretation and thus less chance of getting to know the underside of a bus?
- Make a serious effort to maintain a positive outlook and attitude.
- Although not always easy it allows us to have the upper hand in terms of what we do about it
- Reflecting a person who has not allowed the incident to ‘get to us’ and thus allows us to walk around indicating that we have the upper hand and defy the reaction that another may have wanted to bring about.
- Giving into our emotions takes us afar from our ability to think clearly and logically. The attitude we hold keeps us where it is to our advantage to be.
- Find an ally to whom you can vent your frustration.
- We’re human and thus being the ‘throwee’ is frustrating and even hurtful. Find someone that you trust and to whom you express your frustration and even anger. It will help you to maintain your public positive spin and outlook which is key to turning the experience into a positive.
- Guaranteed … others are watching and observing your reaction
- Operate as if you knew you were being seen and being watched for how you handle thesituation because chances are that is the case.
- Maintaining your cool and being able to employ logic and reasoning is the path to turning your ride under the bus into a learning adventure to your benefit
- Confront the ‘thrower’ privately and with curiosity
- Having a one-on-one with the person who put you under the bus is the opportunity to hear and understand whatever logic that person had for what they did to you.
- Most often we don’t understand why whatever happened … did happen. In having yourconversation just be curious rather than angry. You will achieve hearing the other’s logic and reasoning as a prelude to responding.
- In expressing yourself in this conversation focus on the issue rather than making personal attacks on the individual. To do otherwise is to simply shut down good communication and thus, the ability to understand and resolve any issue.
In a general sense, being thrown under a bus just doesn’t feel right. The one inclined to do that is
often insecure in their own position and uses this tactic as a means of exerting their perceived power and influence. It says much more about them than the recipient of their effort. Still, there we are under some bus. The immediate drive is to extract ourselves from this uncomfortable and somewhat suffocating circumstance. Just how we do that will and can have a huge impact on us … as victim or victor.