Organizations today are full of witch-hunting and it looks like witches are full in the workplace. Some employees who hold positions of leadership find themselves engaging in witch-hunting to save their faces. Such managers look for someone to blame and hold responsible for problems facing the organization hoping that the difficult situation or crisis will somehow be resolved. They simply create a scapegoat instead of solving the problem.
“Witchcraft” in an organization is simply heretical and harmful behavior, meaning anyone that wishes you harm is simply a witch in the workplace. Witchcraft in an organization occurs when there is an extreme and consistent violation of norms and total disregard for what is accepted as the normal way of doing things for the convenience and benefit of the “witch”.
A witch is someone who holds their interests above those of the organization. They are the kind of people in leadership who are self-centered, egocentric and don’t care about others as long as their interests are taken care of. Such managers will engage in a witch-hunt and a fishing expedition to try and find anything they can pin a breach of the code of conduct for an employee they don’t like or cope with. Those that are unable to pin you on any misconduct, will deny you opportunities for growth. Some will use unsubstantiated allegations to soil your name.
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They are simply sadists who wish their colleagues evil and stagnation. They feel bad if their member of staff or an employee is doing better than them. They will go out of their way to see the downfall of another employee, and if in higher authority will even block promotions for those they dislike. Ever come across someone who will swear that so and so will never be promoted for no reason? that is simply a witch.
The sad reality is that some of the “witches” will smile with you but once you are gone the backstabbing starts in earnest. They will sometimes pretend to be the ones on your side and show you how others are not. The worst type of them is those with an inflated ego who will misuse their positional power to bully employees and deny them their rightful opportunities. You must therefore be strategic to know who really is on your side.
If you hold any position of leadership, stop witch-hunting and do what you were employed to do. Power is temporary and you must use it to better others. Treat everyone well for you know not what they may be tomorrow.
Have you suffered or experienced a witch-hunt in your organization?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
Dr. Mary Mugo
Strategy, Governance, and Management Consultant.