Three Things to Know…About Jerks at Work


We don’t devote enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. – Bill Watterson

Whose face comes to mind when you hear the word “jerk”? Not much hesitation there was it? Identifying jerks is not hard – so what do you need to know?

  1. Jerks are everywhere. Your organization does not have a monopoly on the number of jerks it has working in it. Every organization has their fair share of them so don’t think you are unique because you have more than one.
  2. Jerks procreate. Most of the jerks I know have it in their DNA to be that way. Here are a few questions to consider: Do the contributions of the jerk(s) make it more or less feasible to overlook their obnoxious behaviors? At what point do they become more of a liability rather than an asset? Is your organization a jerk magnet, and if so, why?
  3. Jerks will have their day. Whether it’s in the form of bullying or some other type of intolerable workplace behavior –it’s just a matter of time before the jerks meet with enough resistance to change or move on, or be brought down by their own actions. Best advice here? Be patient.

A few final takeaways…

  1. Stay above the fray. Don’t be drawn in by the behaviors of the jerk(s) regardless of their following.
  2. Keep your attitude right. It’s not easy dealing with the jerks and it can be very frustrating especially when you think nothing is being done about it. Regardless, keep your heart right. Don’t let the jerks drag you down!
  3. Set the right example. Let others (and the jerk) know that there is a better way to conduct yourself. When you treat people with dignity and respect and know how to mind your manners you are setting the right tone. Show the better way to lead.

About dougdickerson

I am Certified Leadership Trainer, author, columnist, and speaker. Husband to Alicia, father to Katelyn and Kara, and "Pop" to terrific grandson Tyson. I am an avid photographer, love the outdoors, and like to travel. I'm passionate about sharing my leadership insights and helping people reach their full potential.
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