Whether we like it or not, people often have a secret agenda – and while it is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s in your best interest to pay attention to your surroundings, especially at work. Here are five signs someone on your team may have interests at odds with your own.
When your team member is not forthright about a project you’re working on and attempts to confuse the issue, perhaps they are not being clear about their true intentions. There may be a hidden agenda from which he or she is trying to deflect you.
Sometimes you get a sense you are being tricked into going down the wrong path. If something is not quite as it seems, take a step back and assess. If you recently changed your mind after someone appealed to you emotionally, evaluate if it was sincere or if you just got manipulated.
A co-worker with a secret agenda may be frequently missing or distracted. If you notice this happening accompanied by hushed conversations, without any reasonable explanation, it may be a good idea to look into it. If the person is avoiding the question, it’s possible he or she has a secret agenda they are trying to hide.
On the other hand, instead of avoiding the issue, a team member may have surprisingly strong reactions to a particular suggestion. They may ask leading questions to redirect the plan, or seem excessively upset about a certain outcome. Such strong attachment to a particular path may also indicate a different agenda.
Playing the field
In a meeting, you may notice some odd behavior – your co-worker always responds when a manager on a different team asks questions or they linger at the end of the meeting to walk the other manager out. It becomes clear that he or she may be looking to please the other manager. This may be an indication of a secondary agenda that is being played out. Possibly even an upcoming request to transfer groups or departments.
When all’s said and done, secret agendas often surface in due course. In the meantime, keep your eyes wide open and watch out for all those subtle signals.