How to Work with a Monster

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Some of us don’t need to watch scary movies or go to haunted houses to get our monster fix. Instead, we just need to go to work. Monsters in the workplace include the “ghosts” who disappear when the going gets rough, the “witches” and “warlocks” who stir up trouble, the “zombies” who moan and groan, the “vampires” who suck the energy out of the environment AND everyone’s favorite the “werewolves,” who are big bullies that growl, bite and intimidate.

Here’s what author and speaker Valerie Cade has to say about bullies at work.

By the way, THANK YOU to everyone (all 1,071 of you!) who took my Stop Complainers survey! I promised to share the results with you first – and here they are – Download the Full Report. Now, read on to find out about one of the most destructive Complainer types you identified in the survey – the Controller.

Based on the white paper research for my book Stop Complainers & Energy Drainers: How to Negotiate Work Drama to Get More Done, participants identified the most destructive type of Complainer as: the Controller.

How to Identify a Controller.  When people use F-bombs and complain to intimidate and motivate others to act, they are Controllers.  These Complainers appear as tyrants, bullies and slave drivers. Think of “Monster Trucks” – these people are aggressive, loud and ready to roll over you to get to their destination. Controllers want you to yield to their authority and they push hard to confront obstacles and get results. Controllers use complaining to get things done.

How Controllers Affect the Workplace. They are the harassers of the workplace. Morale and production go down when people feel intimidated and employees and coworkers cope by keeping secrets from the Controller. Creativity and risk-taking shuts down which causes top performers to leave and go work elsewhere.

How to Work with a Controller.  You can’t use excuses, finger pointing or a detailed account of what went wrong when negotiating with a Controller. Instead, be ready to provide answers and show progress on the work that’s been completed.

How to Negotiate with a Controller. Stand. Deliver. Let Them Decide.

  • Stand your ground. Be assertive and confident but not aggressive when you respond.

  • Deliver. Let the Controllers know that you heard the problems or challenges and that a plan is in place to fix the situation.

  • Let Them Decide. When possible, give Controllers the opportunity to make a decision from a narrow selection of options (that YOU give them) to move forward.

Journey On!

About Linda: A recognized authority on negotiations, workplace issues and strategic communication, Linda Swindling, JD, CSP is an author, media expert, a “recovering” employment attorney, and a professional speaker. Contact us to book Linda to speak at your event.