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3 Ways To Deal With The Corporate Stiff Rule Hound

I believe we need rules.  I believe we need to eat healthy.  But I also know that just like healthy eating rules are broken, rules at work or school get broken too.  Now, I'm trying to preach about anarchy or dream about some fairy tale office environment with no rules.  Again, we need rules.   But rules taken to the extreme takes the fun and creativity out of an office environment. Last week, I became so ill that I took a rare day off to stay home and recover.  During my day off I had the chance to watch one of my favorite movies on TBS, "School of Rock".  See below for refresher on the movie.  Watching the movie between my trips to the bathroom and my ginger ale drink made me think about some of the similarities between the anal principal in the movie and the overly rigid corporate stiff types.  You know the type.  You are either one of them or you have watched one of them treat people like Nelly did from the Little House on the Prairie. So below are 3 ways to deal with them:

1.  Don't try to change them.  You can't.  Rule lovers typically have their head in the sand and are only interested in rules.  Rather, change your approach in how you deal with them.  Use facts, common sense logic and political support from others when you are trying to persuade them to your point of view.

2.  Don't fall into their rule trap.  They will quote every rule in the book on why they are correct.  This is their best and usually their only strategy.  Once they throw a rule at you, throw one back at them and then revert back to #1, above.  Do your research and use facts on why in this case, it is okay to be flexible with the rules.

3.  Take the corporate stiff out of their element.  Take them out for a beverage or whatever makes them forgot about rules.  The usual corporate stiff office environment breeds rule hounds.  Take your rule hound out for some good food and drink and allow them to open up.  Do whatever you can to get to know them on a personal level and avoid rule talk.  I have found most of the corporate stiff rulers have a wild and fun side and love getting away from making rules.

So there you go.  Have fun at work and be aware of the rule hounds.  Are you a rule hound?  How do you deal with rule hounds?