Friday, October 10, 2008

Dealing With Character Assassination

Earlier in the week, I had a post about the character assassination being used against Barack Obama and compared that to tactics used in the workplace against Black employees, who complain of abuse.

As promised, here are some tips for dealing with character assassination at work:

-- Clear up any misrepresentations by responding with facts. Don’t get into name-calling or write an emotional response to an email or memo. Just present the facts and list/name any witnesses who can substantiate what occurred. Additionally, you may also want to refer staff to supporting documentation, such as previous emails, instructions disseminated to the project team or other information in your possession that confirms your version of events.

-- Have a zero tolerance policy for anyone attempting to slander your name and/or falsely assassinate your character. Your family name is priceless. It may not mean much to those you work with, but it should mean everything to you. You were born with that name and regardless of what kind of life you’ve lead (whether you come from poverty, abuse, etc.) NO ONE has a right to tarnish your name with false statements about who you are and what you represent. The name you have is the name that you carry to your grave. Wear your name with pride. Don’t let anyone get away with character assassination. I don’t care if you’re a janitor or an executive. Don't worry about being labeled as sensitive. You may be called much worse at your next performance evaluation, if you let people create false perceptions about you!

-- Character assassination must be addressed, in writing, to all those who received negative communication about you or to those who were directly spoken to with negative information. Your silence can be construed as agreement, when you don’t address negative statements about yourself and your job performance. Don’t worry about the mind game, “you’re sensitive” or “you can’t take criticism.” Those comments are a way to put you back on the plantation, as if you have no voice in what goes on around you and what perceptions are created about you. You don't want to get into an email war, but you can't let certain misrepresentations just slide!

-- Don’t be defensive. Instead, address any issues head on, including what may have lead to the individual’s false characterization of you. If you believe that some prior incident may have sparked someone’s false perceptions about you, clear it up. If something you did was taken out of context or misunderstood, explain your intentions and clarify the cause of the confusion.

-- Document everything. If a person is routinely assassinating your character, document every incident you find out about and make a witness list that can corroborate that the person is making major efforts to tarnish and destroy your reputation.

-- Talk to your supervisor and HR. Present any documentation you have about patterns of behavior meant to destroy your reputation, name witnesses, etc. Demand that the person and their accusations be addressed. Request a meeting with HR, your supervisor, and the perpetrator, to clear the air. See if the person is willing to repeat any false claims in front of HR and your supervisor or if they will deny it.

-- Ask for corrective action against the perpetrator, once it is proven they have been slandering you around the office. Do not let this slide. Demand to know what consequences await the individual.

7 Comments:

Anonymous aerogrow kit said...

well this is really bad

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you don't know about it? You can only do something if you know about it.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dealt with character assassination while attending PUMS (Poznan University of Medical Sciences):
http://medicalschool3000.com/unsecure/viewarticle.php?id=131

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

African American's are most likely to be discriminated against. It's not just the whites discriminating against African American's others are doing it to. I have seen races such as Hispanics as they get with whites and cause separation from African American's. Not only that I have seen Hispanics discriminate against African American's in a slick way to whites. Other races are Philipino's working together with Hispanics against African American. I'm not sure if it's there way of climbing the ladder in America and they feel African American's do not offer them anything to get there or not. If this is the case African American's have through there resources because of race helped other races. Why has these other races been able to stay in America, it's because of African American's who paved the way for there own and others through civil rights and equal rights. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other blacks marched for our freedom there were not or none at all as I can remember such as Hispanics in America. When separted but equal was enforced it was a black and white thing. There were black and white restrooms, water fountains, hospital, stores, neighborhoods, and other businesses. Now you see or can you see was there any other race than these mentioned. Sad to say African American's still to this day paving the way for there own and others races. What makes it more sad is no one appreciate it. I believe "dealing with Character Assassination" is a form of racism.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Racism is a terrible thing.

But you need to look for the White and Latino people who don't discriminate. There are people who will be allies to you, if you only look for the bad ones, you won't see, or be able to get help from, those who are friends.

Remember too that those friends may need your help at times too. But thats OK, friends who reach across race lines deserve that help!

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. That doesn't mean that racism doesn't exits in the workplace. It sure does.

But your have to look for the good White people because they are there too, an can be good allies. Don't just look for the bad, or else thats all you will see.

1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I was typing too fast. Thats why I misspelled those two words.

1:50 AM  

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