According to the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, a covert operation is an operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. Covert operations aim to fulfill their mission objectives without any parties knowing who sponsored or carried out the operation.
In the midst of a workplace relationship going bad, sometimes people engage in covert operations. They can be performed mostly from a position of power and control. Such as: a Manager, with immediate access to upper management or Human Resource Director, with immediate access to owners; where their ability to reach the person(s) in charge could directly affect the outcome of any situation. Covert operations are employed in situations where openly operating against a target would be disadvantageous.
In the case where a manager is experiencing conflict with a co-worker, subordinate, sub-contractor etc., and they are not able to resolve issues, due to their lack of managerial skill; they take advantage of their position and affiliation or connection to remove that person from the company, business, firm or operation and discontinue association by any means necessary. However, they have to do it covert because there may not be any real, legitimate reason that would justify their want to remove this person. This can be referred to sabotage as well.
The culprit will move through the lines of communication creating a buzz with the objective of skewing perception about a person or their personality. They will plant seeds of misconception about a workers ability to perform their job as well as their work ethic; knowing that these are the foundations of employment. Their intentions are to warp the image of that person and ultimately have them removed. coups d’état Mission Accomplished.
In a recent article, titled Office Rat, I spoke about the person who may do things covert, then come to you as if they know nothing about what’s going on. This is a characteristic. They are the mastermind behind the plan to have you fired then act as if it is a surprise to them…
It can be very challenging in any situation when you have to work alongside someone who often misuses their power or position. Sometimes it is necessary to move seamlessly through an operation where removing harmful waste from a workplace, is required. IE: dead weight. You must know when and where to direct those operations. As a manager, you can’t just decide you do not like someone and will not work with them. Your position says that you are able to work well with others and resolve or diffuse situations, creating a harmonious work environment.
When you resort to covert operations to remove people because you are not able to set differences and opinions aside, you are not being an example of a good or effective manager. If your differences do not genuinely affect the work being performed or the ability to get the job done, you should look for ways to increase communication instead of causing termination.