Taking care

Go into cahoots with those causingproblems. Let’s say you discover that there is a bully somewhere in the organization thattakes pleasure in humiliatingsubordinates. You go to thatperson, and you do not bullythem — you do not try to correct his behavior by doing tohim what he is doing to others.

You ask him what the troubleis — in other words, you haveto play a little bit of psychia-

trist. You try to correct hisbehavior while telling him it’sunacceptable; you try to tellhim in a way that preserves hisdignity, that’s the key.

You cannot eliminate rankismwith rankism. You don’t eliminate the amount of rankism inthe universe by doing it thatway — you’d leave peoplesmarting, and they look for achance to get even with you,and they become your enemy,whereas up to that point, theykind of liked the president, nowyou’re their enemy.

You have to do it in a way thatdoesn’t involve more rankism,and that always involves askingthem and exploring the reasons.And do you know what the reasons always are, that someonewas rankist to them in the past.

It’s identical to why childabusers very often wereabused when they were children; so, too, rankists had afather or a mother who was abully. So you talk to themabout that behavior.

You go into cahoots with theoffender. You do it as a problem-solving thing rather than as, ‘I’mright, I am morally superior toyou, and you’re going to do itmy way.’ Come up with a workable solution here, and you cantry finding a solution in different contexts. It can be one onone, you can broaden it to otherpeople, but you’re in problem-solving mode, you’re not in dictating mode.

Bring people in to wear down theagitator. My feeling is, 99 percent of the time, you can solve these problems really quickly.

Every once in awhile, it’sreally hard, and you can’t finda solution, and then what youdo is you say, ‘We have notfound a solution yet, we’re stilllooking, we’ve broadened thecircle to keep looking, buteverybody can get involved’ —and the minute you’veinvolved everybody, you’veactually come up with amethodological solution.

You don’t have the answeryet, but you have a methodology that will find one because,gradually, you’ll wear downthe guys who are resistingsome change or resisting giving up a perk that they do notdeserve that in itself constitutes an indignity for everyone else.

HOW TO REACH: Robert W. Fuller, www.breakingranks.net