Surviving Workplace Zombies

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Workplace zombies suck the life out their teams and projects, so it's natural to work to keep them out of the office. In these slides from Paul Glen's workplace motivation webinar, learn how to weed out the zombies from the plain ol' demotivated people and how to deal with a zombie who's your boss, your teammate, your business partner, or, gasp!, yourself!

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Surviving Workplace Zombies

  1. 1. Enter at your own risk! Surviving Workplace Zombies Paul  Glen,  Leading  Geeks  
  2. 2. Surviving Workplace Zombies
  3. 3. Poll: What’s your zombie problem?
  4. 4. What are workplace zombies?
  5. 5. Zombies are not simply demotivated people.
  6. 6. Demotivated people Demotivated •  Listless •  Apathetic •  Indifferent to outcomes •  Not creative •  Unambitious
  7. 7. The Scale of Motivation High Low Highly Motivated Normally Motivated Passively Demotivated Zombie
  8. 8. Demotivated person v. zombie Demotivated •  Listless •  Apathetic •  Indifferent to outcomes •  Not creative •  Unambitious Zombies •  Plodding but persistent •  Single minded •  Motivated to infect others •  Not creative •  Unambitious
  9. 9. Zombies are contagiously demotivated people, highly motivated to infect others with their demotivation.
  10. 10. How does the infection start and spread?
  11. 11. How do people get demotivated? •  Non-work induced –  Personal life events –  Physical and mental health issues •  Workplace conditions and/or behaviors lead people to feel: –  Personally unimportant –  That their work is unimportant –  Helpless to succeed –  Untrusted –  Disrespected –  Out of control
  12. 12. Emotions are contagious.
  13. 13. People feel better about their own emotions when they share them.
  14. 14. Zombies want you to make them feel better about their negativity.
  15. 15. Your negativity validates theirs.
  16. 16. Spreading (de)motivation Peak Performance High Low Highly Motivated Normally Motivated Passively Demotivated Zombie
  17. 17. I do have zombies! What should I do!?
  18. 18. Save them?
  19. 19. Strategy 1: Save yourself! •  Run away! •  Hide •  Recruit human shields
  20. 20. Strategy 2: Save the survivors •  Kill them all •  Isolate them •  Build a fortress
  21. 21. Rule #1 Never surrender
  22. 22. Rule #2 Don’t try to reason with zombies.
  23. 23. Rule #3 Have empathy for the person but not the condition.
  24. 24. Rule #4 Don’t let zombies set the agenda.
  25. 25. 4 different zombie cases •  •  •  •  Your boss Your peers Your business stakeholders You
  26. 26. Help! My boss is a zombie!
  27. 27. Save yourself! •  RUN!!! •  Stay focused on what you want to accomplish •  Be prepared to run away!
  28. 28. Save the survivors •  Stampede (Everyone RUN … at once!) •  Lead from below •  Communicate your will –  What you want to accomplish –  What matters to you •  Insulate your team •  Be prepared to stampede
  29. 29. Help! My teammates are zombies!
  30. 30. Save yourself! •  •  •  •  RUN!!! Stay focused on the team goal Hide Be prepared to run away!
  31. 31. Save the survivors •  Lead by openly stating what you are committed to •  If zombies are a minority –  Try to eject the zombie minority –  Isolate zombies •  If zombies are a majority –  RUN!!! –  Convince your boss/sponsor to intervene
  32. 32. Help! My business stakeholders are zombies!
  33. 33. Save yourself! •  RUN!!! •  Work on something else •  Remind them of what you are committed to
  34. 34. Save the survivors •  Use non-zombie stakeholders to manage zombies •  Distract them with bait –  Something attractive to pursue –  Something noxious to fight •  Convince their superiors to intervene
  35. 35. Help! I’m becoming a zombie!
  36. 36. What you can do •  RUN!!! •  Never surrender
  37. 37. Noticing some zombie tendencies in your office? Leading Geeks Consulting and Education will teach you how to save yourself no matter who the culprit is. To learn more about our customizable programs, delivered both in person and via the Internet, visit our website www.leadinggeeks.com or call us at 310-694-0450. Paul Glen, Founder, Geek. As the award-winning author of the book Leading Geeks, a long-time columnist for Computerworld and a 25-year IT veteran, Paul helps concrete thinkers navigate the murky world of human relationships. paul@leadinggeeks.com
  38. 38. Sponsored by
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