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A new coworker seems to want my position within the company and has been constantly trying to undermine me in meetings and in front of my direct reports. She constantly tries to make up things that are not true to make me seem unqualified for my job. She is more outgoing than me, so people may like her better. How do you think I should approach the situation to be able to deal with her on daily basis and not get aggravated? I need to beat her at her own game, but in a more sophisticated way.

closed as off-topic by gnat, The Wandering Dev Manager, Jim G., Chris E, Lilienthal May 16 '16 at 18:27

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  • Why get involved in a game where both will lose, when starting out of it lets you win? – keshlam May 16 '16 at 2:15
  • "She constantly tries to make up things that are not true to make me seem unqualified for my job." I really doubt anyone likes her even if she's outgoing. Who would like a person like that? – Stephan Branczyk May 16 '16 at 3:33
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    @StephanBranczyk depends on whether they know that's what she's doing. – colmde May 16 '16 at 10:51
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    Please read some books on Office politics. – HLGEM May 16 '16 at 22:29
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I am going to assume that the facts are your side and that your new office mate is really undermining you and is trying to take your job. So here is some tactical advice:

  1. Establish a paper trail of your work efforts. To me that means git logs, emails, minutes of meetings, your reports, etc.

  2. Talk to HR about this. If you are too afraid of disclosing to them what she is doing to you, maybe ask for an assessment of your own performance.

  3. Confirm if she is really undermining your efforts. You do not want to come across to everyone as insecure if you start confronting her about this.

  4. Focus on the quality of your work. That way you'll have more documentation on your side.

  5. Setup your workplace such that your efforts would be advertised by your colleagues if you make a significant positive contribution, such as closing a deal.

  6. Avoid teaming up with her whenever you can. Those types are likely to expect you to pull all the legwork and take all the credit, or at least make it appear to the everyone that she did her part when actually. She didn't.

To me it is really important to document your work efforts because it'll be more difficult for her to prove that your work is useless.

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She is more outgoing than me, so people may like her better.

This is not necessarily true. Others in the office will notice her behaviour, even if they don't know you. If all they hear from her are negative comments they might even take a disliking to her.

I need to beat her at her own game, but in a more sophisticated way.

I don't think you need to "beat her". Your work should speak for itself. The boss or manager who hired you will know what your skills and qualifications are, and as long as you are doing your job to a satisfactory level, the results are the best testimony you have. Your coworkers will recognise this also.

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    Wish I could give this another upvote. "Don't mud-wrestle a pig; you'll get dirty and the pig likes it." Let the person playing games make a fool of themselves. Don't dignify their nonsense with an answer. – keshlam May 16 '16 at 2:14
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    Your work NEVER speaks for itself. This is a good way to get fired. You must play the political game especially when you work with a snake who tries to take credit for your work. – HLGEM May 16 '16 at 22:29
  • @HLGEM this is totally dependant of the environment, if colleagues and manager know the work of OP enough, they'll acknowledge his skills and rejects her blaming, if not, he'll have to prove that his work is fine. – Walfrat May 17 '16 at 9:39
  • Wait, that's a thing? Workplaces where advancement is based purely on merit, and the inept jerks get their comeuppance? – tjbtech May 6 '17 at 0:09

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