As professionals in the workplace we can often find ourselves in confusing situations. The particular situations that I wish to discuss are ones in which you are told that a statement that a co-worker has made is “just a joke” but it does not feel that way to you. Unfortunately, these so called jokes may have lasting repercussions on you and other workers.
Sometimes this type of behavior comes in the form of a individual who acts like he or she is willing to pitch in and work as part of the team but their help creates more work and headaches for everyone. They are often late but when confronted about their tardiness are offended or act as if you are bulling them when a supervisor tells them it is not expectable, even though it is a rather frequent occurrence and his or her excuses never seem solid.
The question is, are these truly blameless behaviors? Or is there more? Are these behaviors indicative of passive-aggressive actions in the work place?
What is passive aggression? It is a hidden, indirect aggression that is hard to deal with because you never know when it is coming. The best way to deal with this type of behavior and hopefully get something done about it is by speaking up and speaking out. The following tips will help you know what to do the next time you face such behaviors.
- Be assertive and follow what you believe to be right.
Listening to your “gut” and following your instincts can often be hard because you are taught to let individuals be but in some cases that can be dangerous.
- Let it be known that you are confused about the mixed messages that you have been given.
Even though placing yourself out there is hard. Let your voice be hears otherwise nothing will ever change.
- Get behind the behaviors by asking questions.
This is another difficult thing to do but it will help you understand why the behavior is happening and how to deal with it better.
- Look at what they do more than what they say.
The old saying “Actions speak louder than words”, is so true. This takes some conscious effort on your part but the time is worth it.
- Make sure they know results matter not intentions and hold him/her accountable for them.
Stay focused and be firm but fair.
- Be Flexible
Changes in plans may need to be made. Also, you may need to learn new techniques to help manage these conflicts.
- Make sure that the person(s) are aware that you know what they are really saying and that you are strong.
Passive-aggressive individuals try to slip their double meanings by you and often think no one realizes that anyone even knows their true intentions with their messages.
- Tell the individual that it is OK for them to make amends.
Even when an individual makes it seem that they are the one being abused it is important for you to maintain that they need to set it right.