Effective Communication

Turf Hogs Are Dangerous Beasts

turf hog

Turf Hogs are dangerous beasts with voracious appetites for power. These marauders are easy to identify, but difficult to deal with. Left to their own devices, they will run amok. They can disrupt your career path.

Turf Hogs work hard at gaining credit for the ideas and work of others. They assume authority where none has been granted. They claim to be team players while invading the territory of others.

When confronted, their usual defense is “Who, me? I was just trying to be a team player and help others for the good of the organization.”

As you travel the road to career success, you most likely will have to deal with Turf Hogs at some point.

What’s To Be Done With Turf Hogs?

Career Advice: Dealing with Turf Hogs requires patience and a careful touch.

Their I-was-only-trying-to-help rationale is hard and dangerous to cope with without appearing to be overly protective of your turf.

First of all, you must be certain that the Turf Hog’s actions are damaging the organization; and that you are not simply protecting your own zone.

When the Turf Hogs’ grabs for credit move beyond irritation to erosion of your responsibilities, it’s time to confront the culprit.

Invite him to meet with you in your office. Make it a closed- door situation. Be ready with a detailed list of his transgressions.

Cite more than one clear-cut example of your complaint with his actions. Be sure to document damage done. Fashion your position along these lines:

“I see by your recent memorandum to my boss explaining that you have some ideas about how I can do a better job. I appreciate your taking the time to offer suggestions about my job performance, particularly since I am sure you have a full time job just carrying out your own responsibilities.

“Don’t misunderstand me. I can use all of the help I can get. But I expect you to come directly to me with your ideas. I know what my responsibilities are and the priorities our boss has assigned to me. And I know what yours are.”

Chances are The Hog will fall back on the “Who, me?” dodge.

Restate examples of your point. Detail damage done. It’s a good idea to continue along this line: “As I see it, we both are charged with doing our jobs in such a way that we can achieve the objectives the boss has laid out for us. The best way to do that is to respect each others’ responsibilities and authorities as we work together.”

Don’t be surprised if your Turf Hog spreads the word to the boss and others that you are not a team player. Be prepared to make your case to The Boss if he asks you for an explanation. Demonstrate that you are a team player.

Career Tip: Don’t expect The Turf Hog to change, but you can keep the beast at bay if you take a strong, fact-based stand against his encroachments.

About the Author

For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times, participate in Ramon Greenwood’s widely read Common Sense At Work Blog. His new e-book, How To Get The Pay Raise You’ve Earned, is available from Amazon.