If you know those kinds of people that seem to always disorganize stuff in the workplace. They set others up for failure, mess up deadlines and make the workplace unpleasant. They are also very good at playing dirty mind games to subtly control others. And always seem to have something spooky up their sleeves. Chances are that you are dealing with a set of manipulative people in your company.
Everyone wants to be in an advantaged position. But it sucks when the craving for advantage becomes an obsession, so much so that control appears to be the motivation.
Then comes the million-dollar questions.
- Who is a manipulative person?
- Do they know what they are doing?
- How can we quickly find such people out at the company?
- How do we deal with such people?
Here are possible explanations to solve the unsettling mystery behind manipulative people at your company.
Who are manipulative people?
People who often wear a façade of false goodwill and false-positive intentions to control situations are manipulative. Their activities are often driven by rumors, gossip, and deception, and in most cases, secrets. In the workplace, they are usually involved in work politics, leveraging sensitive information to their advantage.
You can find manipulative people anywhere, even among your friends, coworkers, and even the people you date.
They are skilled at identifying your weaknesses, exploiting them against you to persuade you to act in their favor. It’s possible that they’ll accomplish this by flattery that isn’t sincere and phony closeness, but it’s more probable that they’ll utilize less flattering strategies like emotional abuse, criticism, dishonesty, and silent treatment.
Being the victim of manipulation is unpleasant, so how can you deal with manipulators in daily life?
Do manipulative people know what they are doing?
The question of whether or not manipulative people are aware of their actions is rhetorical. Manipulation is essentially both psychological and social. As a result, it is quite difficult to answer this question. Moreover, the perpetrator is motivated by an obsessive desire to be controlling, usually for personal advantage. Therefore it all depends on the manipulator, for while some are aware of their actions, others are not. It is thus, the onlooker’s observation of these people in action that gives them the term- manipulative people.
What drives manipulative people?
The drive or motivation for manipulative people are not always conscious but are always present. Here are a few of them to consider:
- An obsessive need to gain personal advantage at the expense of other people.
- A desire for control and power in any dealings with other people.
- Twisted self-esteem arising from putting others down.
- A criminal motivation to fraudulently acquire financial assets, especially by influencing information.
- A lack of empathy where they enjoy their actions as part of a game rather than real-life damage.
How to find manipulative people ASAP at your company?
Manipulative people do not wear name tags or carry signs/markings on their faces. As an entrepreneur, spotting these people out ASAP is an excellent way to protect your enterprise. Manipulation in the workplace presents in several forms, and when not quickly identified, can ruin the ambiance. As a result, toxic people are a disadvantage to any company. Regardless of how sly manipulators can be, they are not a total mystery. Here are some signs that can help you find them out ASAP at your company.
Although manipulative people behavior may appear like “petty workplace drama,” it isn’t, and it can have detrimental and long-lasting effects on the culture and productivity of your team.
Coworkers who are manipulated over time may be prevented from producing their best work, and a toxic and selfish culture may be created. Your team’s morale may suffer, and there may be more staff turnover as a result.
Fortunately, you can try a few preliminary strategies before approaching HR or thinking about taking more serious action. In the end, it’s critical that you develop the ability to recognize manipulative people behavior in your workers and select the appropriate course of action to promote openness, honesty, and respect among your team members.
How to deal with manipulative people?
Manipulative behaviors can ruin company goals and objectives by destroying team spirit. As a result, it is necessary to handle manipulative people in the workplace as soon as they are discovered. It is even more distressing when the manipulator happens to be one of the best workers. Here is how to deal with manipulative people at your company to prevent any collateral damage.
Describe your background
It’s critical to first evaluate the circumstance and identify the type of situation you are facing if you suspect a coworker is being manipulative before taking any action. If a coworker is truly manipulative, they may try to influence others’ beliefs or behaviors by using deceptive or seductive language or actions.
It’s crucial to understand whether this manipulation is a component of anything else so that you can plan out your next move accordingly.
Determine whether the person also contributes to rumors or a hostile workplace atmosphere by examining their actions, words, and behaviors. You must immediately speak with a boss or a member of the human resources team if their behavior is unpleasant, threatening, or discriminating.
Because manipulative people are often elusive and sometimes unaware of their actions, observation is necessary to identify them. Besides, as an entrepreneur, a keen sense of observation is a required skill. You should look out for certain behavioral patterns that disrupt the smooth running of the company. Warning signs to look out for are aggression, seduction, and those who play the victim. Some manipulators like to be coercive while others like to talk sweetly. Such uncooperative behavior in the workplace will deter work progress in the company. As you observe the manipulators, endeavor to take notes, make recordings, have witnesses, etc. all of which will serve as evidence for when you confront the person.
This is the next step to take after observation when dealing with manipulative people. Surely, their antisocial behavior hurts the company. Therefore, your analysis means thinking about the manipulations and matching them across the company objectives/goals. How has the manipulation affected work progress? Etc.
3. Withhold/ Limit information
Manipulative people need the information to carry on. Whether it be private information, company information, etc. you can cripple manipulative tendencies in your company by limiting access to information. And classifying certain things for authorized personnel.
Examples of information that should be classified are but are not limited to, staff personal information, company financial information, and plans of the company.
4. Confront the manipulators
Confronting the manipulators is a sure way to deal with them. It is a move to let them know that you are aware of their actions. However, you can only employ this step after the preceding steps. When talking to them, always point out the disciplinary actions in line with the company code. And also carry out disciplinary action should the person fail to change.
Turning the tables on a workplace manipulator is the quickest and most reliable approach to spot them. For instance, if a coworker berates you subtly for being too slow, too fast, too old, too young, too confident, too successful, too handsome, too rich, too ignorant to other people’s feelings, or too anything else, return the favor.
Play the game now. Just say it.
Ask them to explain their unfavorable behavior. Why are they acting in such a passive-aggressive manner? Find out why they are making you feel bad by asking them. Find out their intentions by asking them. Although it can be challenging to ask these questions, the answers will swiftly reveal whether or not someone is attempting to manipulate you at work.
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What is manipulation in the workplace?
Manipulation in the workplace is when some people at work engage in unhealthy behaviors to perpetuate secret agendas. Perpetrators are called manipulative people. And their sole aim is to gain personal advantage at the expense of their colleagues.
Imagine having a boss that is determined to ruin your life and mess with your emotions and sanity. It’s like a dreadful nightmare. On our worst workdays, when we’re scrambling to meet deadlines or sitting through tiresome meetings, perhaps this is already a seductive fantasy that we want to believe. No one’s boss could possibly be manipulative, despite the occasional anger and tearing of hair that come with any job, right?
Unfortunately, workplace manipulation exists—whether we witness it or subject others to it. There is no genuine winner when we start playing puppet master, even when we manipulate coworkers for what appear to be the correct motives (such admiring their attractiveness to urge them to help us with something). Protect yourself against the string-pullers of the expert.
How do you deal with a manipulative person at work?
Dealing with a manipulative person at work requires four concrete steps. The first is to observe keenly, then analyze, withhold/limit information and confront the person. Exposing the manipulative person helps to keep their attitudes in check.
What are the common characteristics of manipulative people?
Manipulative people do not have a particular character because they act in many ways. And according to their personalities, they could either be aggressive, sweet talkers, or play the victim. There are other characteristics of manipulators. However, the unifying factor is control.