Your ESC Colleagues: All About Flash

Dealing with these Flash-based colleagues can test the patience of even the most dedicated co-worker. But here are a couple of tips that may help you out.

The Eurovision Song Contest will be presented on May 10th, 12th and 14th of 2016. For those of us outside Europe, you can stream the contest in real time or watch it again after its conclusion via the Eurovision website and their WebTV page.

Although the Eurovision Song Contest is supposed to be a contest of the songs (it has Song right in the title!), a not insignificant amount of consideration is given to the performance as well. As in life, there are songs that are so good that stand alone, and don’t need a super-flashy show. But there are others who, to quote Chicago, give their performance the “razzle-dazzle” treatment to cover up for a mediocre song choice.

A perfect example can be found in some of the acts for the 2012 contest, which featured more low-key acts partly due to the previous year’s winner being a stronger song on its own and partly as a reflection of the economic turmoil still roiling Europe.  Even in a year when moderation was in, you still had some flashy performers.

The Romanian 2012 entry from band Mandinga was Zaleilah, a typical example of Euro-pop which fills many of the ESC contest slots every year. In order to make up for critics of the song who felt the song was simple and that vocalist Elena Gherorghe was a mediocre talent at best, the on-stage performance featured a moonwalking, high-stepping bagpiper, several other dancers posing as if they were members of a marching band, and plenty of flame spurts to liven up the visuals.

Ireland sent Jedward, a twin pop duo, back to the contest in 2012 with a song that featured not only the twins with their signature high-rise hair and even higher jumps, but also wearing suits reminiscent of a cheap, Reanaissance Faire version of full body armor and a dancing water fountain to back up their utterly forgettable song Waterline.

Everyone has had colleagues and co-workers who are the flashy type. The ones who make up for having no original ideas in a presentation by making a long, rambling PowerPoint presentation with lots of industry buzzwords. The kind who live by the Fake-It-Till-You-Make-It rule of business, without ever getting to the Make-It part.The kind who trumpet their achievements, whether perceived or legitimate, to anyone within a 30 mile radius. It is one thing to be confident in yourself and to sell yourself and your brand at the office for advancement opportunities or during a job search, but these are the folks who cross the line. Every. Single. Time.

Dealing with these Flash-based colleagues can test the patience of even the most dedicated co-worker. But here are a couple of tips that may help you out:

  • Figure out where the flash is coming from: It’s very possible that the flashiness is an over-correction for low self-esteem or low confidence in their work situation. If that is the case, you may be able to help them beef up on areas where they are struggling, and with increased confidence the need for flash will be lessened.
  • Don’t give in to the drama: If the co-worker in question is simply in it for the drama, the best way to handle it is to starve the beast. If they are acting this way to demand attention, giving them that attention they so desire only fuels the fire. Instead, when they start gearing up, simply say, “I’m not interested”.  Eventually, they will get the hint and leave you out of their drama, although this could create other issues for your work life later.
  • Take a lesson: Is it possible that the reason their flashiness grates on you is because you are jealous? While it’s purported that people advance in the working world based on merit alone, the reality is that this has never been true. Doing your best work won’t get you a promotion or a better position if no one knows about it. In that case, you might be able to take a toned-down version of this co-workers flash and put it to use for your own advancement.

How did it end in Eurovision 2012? In the end, the winning performance was Loreen, representing Sweden with the hit song Euphoria. She performed with only one other dancer, and on a dark-lit stage that prevented you from being able to see her for most of the performance, making it easier to focus on the song.

  1. […] To learn more about the ESC and Workplace Culture, click here. To measure your level of commitment to larger goals as demonstrated by ESC, click here. To see tips for dealing with flash-based colleagues, click here. […]

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  2. […] goals as demonstrated by ESC, click here. To see tips for dealing with flash-based colleagues, click here. For tips on handling office copycats, click […]

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