Four kinds of people you must avoid at your work place

Four kind of people you must avoid at your work place

Four kinds of people you must avoid at your work place

You know them: colleagues in a meeting who don’t really add anything. Or worse, who disturb your meeting through their toxic presence. Avoid these four types.

My general attitude toward people is very positive. I always assume people want the best, not just for themselves but also for others and their organizations. And also that they do their best to achieve this.

This works most of the time, but sometimes I get disappointed by people that don’t live up this expectation. Through their presence, they add negativity to a meeting, process or collaboration.

Originally known as “the dangerous animals of product management,” there are four types of such people: the Zebra, the Hippo, the Wolf and the Rhino. This is what they mean and how to deal with them in your strategy meetings:

ZEBRA – Zero Evidence But Really Arrogant
ZEBRAs think they know it all but rely on their opinion rather than any actual evidence. To stave off the ZEBRAs in your midst, make sure that you’ve got data to back up your decisions. Come up with quick experiments you can run to test ideas and gather evidence.

HIPPO – HIghest Paid Person’s Opinion
It can be tempting to give in to the HIPPOs (founders or CEOs who want to make all the decisions), but don’t let them steer you off course. Bring everything back to your vision and objectives–if the HIPPOs aren’t aligned with these, you could be headed for dangerous waters.

WOLF – Working On Latest Fire
The WOLF has a short attention span and a temptation to jump from one problem to the next. This will disrupt your team’s focus and effectiveness, making you easy prey for your competitors. Create a process for collecting feedback about problems and only consider these along with all other requests.

RHINO – Really Here In Name Only
The RHINO is just there to collect a paycheck without contributing much to the team. They might not be actively impeding your decision-making, but they’re certainly not helping out much, either. Having a clearly defined prioritization process can help ensure all your team members understand how decisions are made and give them the confidence to actively participate.

Now think about your latest strategy or team meeting, or about the people around you more generally. Which toxic personalities do you recognize?

If you cannot avoid them next time, this awareness should at least help dealing with them a little more effectively.



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