The flatterer can be the source of trouble in the workplace

“Cynthia caused a lot of trouble in her workplace. Nobody wanted to believe that the ogre some portrayed her as existed within this otherwise charming façade, but she alienated people all around her and that was damaging to the company.”

Some people suck up to the boss but are terrors to the rest of the staff.

By Mary Wilson

Cynthia Fraser was a flatterer. She was always ready with an insincere comment for every occasion for the right people, “right” being the operative word in her belief system. At such times she hid her falseness under an excess of charm that was hard to resist.

Cynthia loved brushing shoulders with those she believed to be rich or powerful or even just influential. If she needed something from someone, her verbal admiration knew no bounds. She knew just where the buttons were and she pushed them shamelessly.

To her subordinates, though, or those she felt were subordinate, she was merciless, treating them with contempt and sometimes cruelty. It was her way of finding a tiny bit of power to wield and she wielded it without remorse.

Nothing these unfortunates could do was right, even though they might be brilliant in every way. In fact, that was sometimes worse – their merit infuriating her and urging her to find ways to denigrate them even more.

Cynthia caused a lot of trouble in her workplace. Many had trouble believing that the ogre some portrayed her as existed within this otherwise charming façade, but she alienated people all around her and that was damaging to the company.

The truth emerges

Eventually, Cynthia made a fatal mistake and alienated the wrong person who went to her employer and told the whole story of the abuse that had been heaped upon him and how this was giving the company a black eye. Her employer added this final blow to a litany of complaints and alienations leading back to her doorstep and finally had to face up to the truth. Cynthia’s flattery of him could no longer disguise the problems she created for others. He had to let her go.

She wept, of course, and pledged undying fealty to her boss, but it was too late. As soon as one person came forward, others followed. The case was too strong to be ignored.

There are a lot of Cynthia’s out there, in the workplace, in clubs and groups, among acquaintances and seeming friends.

Watch for them. While they may give you a temporary ego boost, it’s a false and dangerous one that may end up hurting you in many ways. First, they can give you an inflated impression of your own value. Second, they can lose you valuable contacts, friends and even employees.

What to watch for in the flatterer:

  • The flatterer praises what you do, even when you, yourself, know it’s not very good;
  • The flatterer treats you obsequiously and/or hangs on your every word;
  •  Compliments roll readily off the flatterer’s tongue.
  • The flatterer never has anything good to say about subordinates;
  • Subordinates complain of being ill-treated or that the flatterer is in a bad mood or won’t talk to them.
  • The flatterer does not like and often abuses the people you are kind or attentive to;
  • Friends and business associates dealing with the flatterer begin to drop away.

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