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5 Types of people you find in your workplace jungle

HI, I live in Anchorage and am a management consultant and writer. I'm founder of www.bullywhisperer.com™, www.workplacecoachblog.com and www.thegrowthcompany.com. I'm author of Solutions and Beating the Workplace Bully, AMACOM. I author...

How to survive the workplace jungle

Is your workplace a jungle? Perhaps you’ve met a human snake or been pounced on by a two-legged puma. Maybe some of your coworkers remind you of monkeys, boars or hyenas. If you want to avoid an unexpected mauling or other jungle disaster, read on.

The snake

Although manipulative in nature, office snakes appear smoothly professional and show a glitteringly polished skin to their supervisors. Office snakes whisper intriguing disparaging remarks to coworkers about others. Unfortunately, the falsehoods that office snakes speak make sense.

Do you work next to a snake? If so, don’t ignore her. Snakes strike the unwary more frequently than those on guard. If you let the snake’s venom reach the bloodstream of your office reputation, it may be too late.

More: How to survive workplace mean girls

Puma

The reclusive puma lives in the shade. Leave the puma alone and you do fine. Wander too close or force the puma into a corner and watch out. Pumas handle challenging assignments with quiet grace, so others underestimate them until the office puma shows its claws. If you want to stay on the office puma’s good side, understand that they protect their turf against all newcomers.

Hyenas

Hyenas generally travel in pairs and don’t appear to take things seriously. While laughing hyenas can get on anyone’s nerves, realize that if you react to them, you become a hyena yourself. If you consider others in your office mere hyenas, you let their exterior blind you to their cunning and capability. Hyenas reinforce each other so they can gang up on and bring down larger mammals.

More: Why you should steer clear of the workplace rumor mill

Lion

Most workplaces have a “hear-me-roar” lion. Lions expect you to believe that what they say is true because they say so. If you react with a “who-does-he-think-he-is” attitude, you ignore reality. Seemingly benevolent and always aware of their majestic position on the organization chart, lions exercise power simply because they can.

While you can’t ignore the lion’s strength, you also can’t afford to make false assumptions based on the office lion’s size or stature. Don’t fall for the lion’s myth; while lions possess power, they don’t always know what’s going on.

Elephant

You may not take the ungainly elephant seriously. Beware. If you wander too close, you may find yourself stomped when the elephant decides to throw his weight around. If so, and even if you are in the right, you will find yourself flatter than a pancake.

Your workplace jungle

Have I missed some of the animals in your office jungle? Do you work next to a boar or been recently quilled by a porcupine? Regardless of the animals in your office jungle, keep your wits about you.

More: 6 Traps to avoid when dealing with a workplace bully

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