There was a sappy movie called shallow Hal starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black about a shallow man who falls in love with a 300-pound woman. The story followed the usual Hollywood formula, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, and they live happily forever after. It got me thinking about how to identify and deal with shallow people. There has been a myriad of studies about dysfunctional toxic people but not much about the run of the mill average shallow person. Eleanor Roosevelt said: “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” She was right.
Who are these shallow people in the office?
1) They surround themselves only with people that can advance their careers.
2) They cut down colleagues for being different than they are, or just not important enough to hang around with.
3) They seek recognition for group accomplishments when they contributed little.
4)They pit colleagues against each other when it benefits them.
5) They love to gossip about office politics.
6) They get bored easily if the conversation isn't about them.
Do you recognize any of these people in your circle of colleagues; like I said they aren't bad people just shallow?
The best course of action is not to be drawn into their gossip about other employees. When I have been faced with these types of people I have either politely ignored them or said I haven't experienced what gossip they want to talk to me about, their prattling is just that.
Most sharp leaders can spot these people a mile away and can see through their white noise, so keep doing your job and understand you will be seen without using their bad habits.