At the recent conference I was at an office manager approached me wanting some advice with an employee. He said this employee had a good personality and was great with their patients, but she always seemed needy.
She was well trained and he knew that she was smart, but she often surprised him by not remembering key things that needed to be done.
I asked how the other employees got along with her and he said that they liked her “somewhat.” Their main complaint was that she would try to butter them up to do job tasks for her and she would pull the guilt card on them if they told her no.
It seemed to me he was dealing with a classic case of the manipulative co-worker. Once I said the word “manipulative” his eyes lit up and he agreed.
Sometimes it is not easy to peg when a person is a true manipulator. But the signs he spoke of, it certainly sounded like this was the case.
He wanted to know what was the best way to handle this employee, because he wanted to try to make things work out with her, if at all possible.
There are a few things that you can do when dealing with a person with a manipulative personality;
1. When the person tries to get you do to something for them, simply tell them “no.” You must avoid being a victim to their requests.
2. Remember you are in control, change the way you react to this person. Do not let them guilt you or make you overreact to their challenging behavior. Sometimes by changing your behavior you will change the other person’s behavior.
3. Avoid them if you can. If they start with their manipulative tactics, start talking about something else.
4. Do not allow them to get you frustrated and angry, this will give them a reason to complain about your unreasonable behavior to a supervisor.
Manipulative people can be very difficult to work with. The key point is to stay in control of the situation and your behavior.
What other ways would you handle a manipulative co-worker?