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Chapter 2. The Magical Manipulative Ways... > The Various Manipulative Techniques ... - Pg. 21

The Magical Manipulative Ways of the Difficult 21 Difficult Interpersonal Behavior The most common difficult behaviors managers face center around interpersonal behavior that is either disruptive, rude, inconsiderate, or self-centered. Often people incorrectly call these behaviors evidence of a personality conflict. Rather than thinking of it that way, it's better to address the be- havior, because it isn't likely that anyone's personality will change. The examples we've included can occur in any context--publicly in meetings, privately in one-on- one discussions, or with other employees. Here are some examples: · · · · · · · · · · Interrupting others Constant negative comments or body language Refusal to take other people into account Obnoxious tone towards others General rudeness Harassing behavior (either sexual or personal) Unnecessary personal comments and attacks Blaming others Intimidation tactics Aggressive behavior (yelling, shouting) In any workplace we find people who use some of these tactics sometimes, and unfortunately, there needs to be at least some room for people to be interpersonally human. That's the term we use for the "someone's-having-a-bad-day" thing. When determining how difficult these behaviors are for you in your workplace, again apply the reality check principle. Regardless of whether the person and the behavior aggravate you personally, ask yourself the question: "How is this behavior likely to affect our workplace if it is allowed to continue?" Answer this objectively as possible. The answer will help you decide whether action is called for. Back-Channel Guerrilla Work We mentioned guerrilla difficult behaviors in the section about attacks on the manager, but it shows up in other forms, just as insidious and tricky. Apart from difficult behavior which has a violent component to it (for example, shouting, yelling, threats), back-channel difficult behavior is the most difficult to address--and the most important. It's like dry rot in a house or having termites quietly destroy the foundation of your house without your knowledge. From the Manager's Desk Be alert to back-channel guerrilla work. Back-channel behavior can poison a work environment over time. It's like death by a thousand mosquito bites.