It happened again today!
I need to stop being surprised by it.
Every time I facilitate a seminar on my “7 Deadliest Communication Sins” audience members’ consistent identify one issue that frustrates them the most.
You probably have experienced it, too.
And, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve also engaged in this communication technique yourself.
It’s “passive-aggressive” behavior.
It comes up every time I ask the question “what is your biggest frustration, challenge and problem you encounter regarding communication in your workplace?”
Now, it may not be the first thing out of people’s mouths but with an audience of 20 or more people it will come up within the first half-dozen items.
From what my audience members tell me “passive-aggressive” behavior, which technically is a behavior and not directly “communication,” comes in these three primary workplace situations:
- When employees are asked to do things in a new, different way, or to implement new technology,
- In being offered constructive criticism and feedback, and
- Specific, direct requests they prefer not to deal with (for whatever reason)
Passive-aggressive behavior is one of those types of workplace behaviors that is a real killer to trust between co-workers.
Passive-aggressive behavior may also be the most egregious because it’s stealthy, isn’t it?
It’s often hard to recognize in many situations because it can be delivered covertly, under the guise of agreement.
Sometimes it’s overt, like with sarcasm or indirectly “throwing someone under the bus,” as the saying goes.
What is your experience with passive-aggressive behavior in your work environments?
What strategies have you applied to overcome it, work through it, resolve it, etc.?
Let’s discuss this and identify some cures, because it is absolutely killing company cultures, which kills productivity, which kills company profits.
Feel free to share your passive-aggressive experiences below.
’til next time Communicate With Power!