Working productively with a group of people of varying backgrounds, skills and motives requires a mapping of the human landscape. If you have worked successfully on international standards and specifications, you will necessarily have, perhaps unconsciously, developed a Taxonomy of Bozos.
Gender note: I’m using “he” as a shorthand for a bozo of any gender.
- Characteristics: talks about his transcendent skill, talent and accomplishments but never proposes anything.
- Strategy: ignore him.
- Characteristics: makes an unworkable proposal and is unable to implement it. Does not understand why it is rejected and keeps trying again. And again. And again.
- Strategy: ignore him aggressively. Unless he is your manager; then you must leave the building immediately and seek new employment.
- Characteristics: makes an unworkable proposal and may be able to fix it and implement it. But he is too lazy to incorporate the feedback and fix the proposal.
- Strategy: offer feedback until he lies down and goes to sleep.
- Characteristics: makes a workable proposal and is able to implement it but wants somebody else to do the work.
- Strategy: cut a deal: help him implement his proposal if he supports your proposal.
- Characteristics: initially makes an unworkable proposal but is able to learn and incorporate feedback to eventually make a workable proposal.
- Strategy: offer constructive feedback until a workable proposal is reached.
- Characteristics: makes a workable proposal and is able and willing to implement it.
- Strategy: find common ground and form an alliance to combat lower lifeforms.
There’s a bozo born every minute. Learn to deal with them. If you have encountered a type of bozo not mentioned here, give me feedback. I will incorporate it.