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Blaming Manipulation

There is one person I work with who has a knack of shifting the blame from himself to me every time he does some-thing wrong. He is well liked by management, and if I ever complain, I will look like the bad guy. How do I deal with him?

You are talking about a person who has earned a masters degree in business manipulation. This is typically an individual who creates a scenario where all of the topsiders love him, and if you have a problem with him, you must be the problem. The best way to deal with him is from a distance, unless you enjoy being a cobblestone in his career.

If your work situation prevents you from distancing yourself from him, there is something you can do. The first step is to document things more carefully. Write memos to yourself on the work you are doing with this person, and be sure to detail your actions, his actions, and the progress of the project itself.

In the event that he makes a mistake and then slides the blame over to your side of the table, call him on it with facts and figures. Let him see that the facts unequivocally prove that he was the direct cause of the mistake.

Be prepared for him to respond with a song and dance befitting a Broadway musical, with muddled choruses crying for actions that "we" can take. Your best move is to sit quietly. If he can upset you, he will take that to management and build an entirely different case against you. Let him know that although he caused the problem, you are more than willing to work with him to correct it. After all, the objective is still to get the job done correctly.

Once he sees that you possess sharp facts that can pierce his Teflon shield, he will be less likely to point his finger at you when management asks what happened this time. However, he will be ready to point next time, and whenever he works with you in the future. If you want to head him off, let him know that you plan to document projects with him well into the future.

While manipulators seem to be destined to manipulate, the fact is that you are not destined to be their prey.

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