Have you ever been in one of those meetings where you just know that the same someone has once again not lived up to their commitments and there is no escaping it, they are going to take a serious fall for it… then miraculously they escape, only to have the focus put on someone else?
Well, you have been witness to an old classic in the world of corporate psychopathy, the “corporate distractor”. More specifically, you probably didn’t see the art of distraction being skillfully applied.
This trick usually relies on years of practice where the illusionist (let’s just call them the perpetrator to keep it simple), swiftly deflects the attention from the gaping issue (and any impending discussion of consequence) to another part of the business, just by throwing a simple observation at the weakest bystander available.
For example; the perpetrator knows he has done nothing for three weeks and allowed a significant project to slide into near oblivion. When questioned, he may casually point out that he is still waiting on a specific piece of information, from Bob. He may go on to point out that he’s been offering to help Bob, just it looks like Bob is just not coping. As a result, Bob looks completely flustered (he is, he’s caught off guard and is trying to figure out what he has neglected to do), which is exactly what makes this distraction look so convincing. The perpetrator now has everyone doubting Bob’s ability to stay on top of things and this one minor point has successfully won this battle. Bob, clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing…
In the corporate world, there are many skilled in this art of distraction. They are sly, sometime genuinely nice folk, but usually at there core you will find someone with deep seated corporate psychopathy tendencies – just remember, it’s nothing personal, just a simple survival strategy