A ‘frenemy’ is a person who is friendly towards you, but harbours feeling of resentment or rivalry. There is always a possibility of having frenemies at work.
The biggest challenge when dealing with them at the workplace is that you will never know where a frenemy is hiding. They can be supportive and friendly one moment, then stab you in the back in front of your boss, the next. They may exclude you from projects and you could find yourself not being invited to meetings or gatherings. They may seem happy about your promotion but speak behind your back about how it was an unfair decision to promote you. They may even take credit for your ideas, which you unwittingly share with them over a coffee break. They always want to look good by putting others down or in some cases, play victim to show they don’t get enough support from others to perform well.
What can you do about this? First, identify your frenemies and confront them professionally about their attitude. Explain to them that this behaviour will damage both your reputations and credibility.
Next, protect yourself by reducing the sharing of verbal information. Instead, get everything in writing, have a paper trail of the minutes of meetings, exchanged ideas and procedures, follow-ups and reports.
Remember, ignoring the person is not the best solution and will not help you to move forward. You cannot have zero interaction with them at work. What you can do instead, is change your focus when that person is around. For instance, engage in a phone call, reduce your conversations and keep your personal information under wraps.
Always remember that the office is not a battlefield. Be positive toward your colleagues and try to find a way to work it out together.
- The reader is a Supply Chain and Logistics professional based in Dubai