Don’t error on giving someone you barely know the benefit of the doubt. Instead, you need to truly get to know people before you open up to them or delegate responsibility. If you tell a person everything you know, or delegate things right away, when you first meet him or her- they can use this information against you or fail you on purpose. These actions will always fall back on you. So, as simple as it sounds, make sure you truly get to know (Google, run a background check, spend time with, etc.) someone before you delegate important tasks or share crucial information.
Don’t assume why someone is doing something. If what a person does have you questioning him or her, ask them why they are doing it. First, it makes the person stand still. Then, they have to provide you an answer and be accountable for their actions. If they truly didn’t know they were undermining you, the problem will be fixed. If the action was deliberate, regardless of the explanation, he or she will know that you are on to them.
Finally, set boundaries with people and let them know what the resulting actions will be. I often tell employees that my office is a gossip-free office. If I hear of gossip, the entire team is fired. This usually eliminates not only gossip about one another, but undermining of me and direct supervisors.
Until next time,
Twyla N. Garrett