Don’t use a words use a trick to deal with manipulators!
At each and every workplace including every profession one has to deal with some manipulative people.
Manipulation comes in many different forms at the workplace, and if it is not managed it can create a highly toxic work environment. It can ruin your work performance as well.
The psychological influence that is wielded through manipulation can often result in a abusive relationship. Those who are victimized by the manipulation often react by way of enabling, conflict, or worse, experiencing trauma. You can’t even imagine what all emotional disturbances they experience.
There are those individuals traumatized from manipulative tactics. Their plight can lead to high levels of anxiety, illness or worse. So basic question arises here is, how to deal with manipulators?
Leaders need to know that fear is often the root of why manipulators act as they do. Simply put, manipulators are battling their own insecurities. Therefore, it may require the support of mental health professionals to help both the manipulator and the victim successfully manage and move past this behavior. If you find yourself managing a manipulator, it’s time to take some positive steps toward change.
Here are a few ways to get started:
- Clarify the level: Certain behaviors that may appear to be harmless to some may be detrimental to others. So as a leader, first ascertain the level of the manipulation by exploring behavioral patterns along with how the behavior affects others. Is it subtle, harmless and easily thwarted? Inviting in a mental health professional, specializing in working with manipulation, is also a great way to gain an unbiased, professional perspective on positive and negative interpersonal patterns.
- Ask direct questions: Second option is asking direct questions. When working with a manipulator, accusations may fly. This only puts the manipulator on the defense and may increase the unwanted behavior. Confidential and respectful dialogue with the use of open-ended questions is the best way to bring issues to the surface. If your work is negatively impacted by a manipulative employee, you may decide to talk with them directly. If you are aware of manipulation, you should proactively question the behavior by questioning each party involved alone (and/or together) to get to the root of the problem.
- Have compassion: Remember manipulators often work from a place of fear. They would not behave in such a way unless they were scared of something. This could likely be a sense of insecurity about performance or status. As a leader, try to employ a little compassion. Do not fire back with negative words instead, understand they are worried and uncomfortable in their own skin at the moment. Depending on the situation, give them time and space — and even a safety net, including your offer to listen.
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