BUSINESS | LIFE | LESSONS
C Is For Conspiracy (Theorists)
Can ‘Conspiracy Theorists’ and ‘Conspiracies’ Co-Exist
Throughout history, people have believed in various conspiracy theories, such as the alleged ‘alien’ being kept secretly in Roswell, USA, or those who don’t think Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon.
Similarly, there is rarely a period of parliamentary time where some scandal or sleaze occurs, the identification of which may lead one side to argue how deplorable the behaviour was, whilst the other claims that the individual was ‘set up’.
The clarity of the evidence produced of the alleged inappropriate behaviour will determine whether the initial response is likely to be apology and contrition or denial and counter-attack.
Was the publication and circulation of the images of Matt Hancock, embracing his lover in his private office, in June 2021 part of a secret conspiracy designed to bring down the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the government? Or did somebody manage to plant a hidden camera after they became of the affair, not because of any breach of the social distancing guidelines or plot to cause political chaos, but simply because they thought that the illicit affair was wrong and needed to be made public.
Employees also sometimes think that there is a conspiracy within their company, where the ‘powers that be’ are conspiring to ensure that they don’t get a particular job, pay rise or desk by the window they want. This ‘conspiracy theory’ is more appealing to the individual because it implies that there are forces at play that they have no control over.
Whenever the individual doesn’t get their way, they will complain — not always officially — that it is just one more example of the ‘conspiracy’ to force them out of the organisation. The less they get their way, so their feelings of frustration grow, sometimes to such a degree that it impacts how they perform their job. When their performance ultimately suffers, and they are ‘managed’ accordingly, they see this as “… Another example” of the conspiracy and nothing to do with them.
Thankfully, such conspiracy theorists in the workplace are relatively rare. But, even when they do exist, one thing that needs to be borne in mind when investigating any grievances that they might raise — that there might actually be a conspiracy! I’m not suggesting anything of the magnitude of hiding an alien or staging a mock moon landing in the barren wastelands of Tibet. Still, one or more individuals within the organisation may be trying to force them out. Maybe, their constant ‘whinging and whining’ over the years has just got too much for management to bear, and that they decide to ease them out by making life hard for them. When this occurs, management tends to take shortcuts and ignore policies and procedures.
However wrong the employee may have been in the past about the actions of others, it is worth remembering that they may be right on this occasion!
Also, it is worth remembering that the more troublesome they have been in the past, the more necessary it is to follow the company’s policies and procedures to deal with them in the future!