How to Spot a Manipulator at Work

A manipulator is someone who tries to use other people to their own advantage through deceitful or unfair means. If there is an individual in the workplace who continually utilizes manipulative measures to achieve personal gain and control others, it can be a difficult situation to work in. It is important to know how to spot such a person so that you do not become a victim of this manipulation. This article will address how to spot a manipulator at work.

See Also: How to Deal With Power-Hungry People at Work

Detecting a Manipulator

In order to spot a manipulator in the office, you must keep your eyes open. Be on the lookout for the following basic behavior traits that a manipulator exhibits.

• Can easily ascertain someone’s flaws and weaknesses
• Will find ways to diminish you through your weaknesses
• Cagey ability to persuade you toward their own interests
• Continues controlling behavior unless boundaries are set

Examples of Manipulative Behavior

Dr. Mary Casey is the author of How to Deal with Master Manipulators and she advises that, “Openly aggressive behaviour such as bullying is easy to identify, but covert attacks are very difficult to spot.” Manipulation is less easy to detect because of the covert methods that are used.

Dr. Casey shared that she had an extremely manipulative employee on staff at her counseling firm, The Casey Centre. This employee worked for her for four years and had managed to manipulate and control everyone in the office. According to Dr. Casey, one reason that the individual was able to exact such control in the office was that no boundaries were established. One example of the manipulation was that the employee would call Dr. Casey during non-business hours to discuss something of limited importance. However, when speaking with fellow colleagues, the individual would say that he spoke to Mary over the weekend. His depiction of the incident would make it seem as if he and Dr. Casey were best friends; when, in fact, the opposite was true. Such deception caused the others in the workplace to believe that this individual was Dr. Casey’s right-hand man.

In addition to keeping your eyes open to detect manipulators in the workplace, you can review some of the examples listed below to learn how to recognize manipulative behavior.

1. The Right-Hand Man

One example of such behavior is when an individual at the office manipulates his way into the good graces of the boss or manager. This person wants to become the right-hand man so that he can cultivate a controlling atmosphere in the workplace amongst his fellow colleagues.

2. The Agitator

This person manipulates in the workplace by pitting people against each other. By agitating colleagues and causing dissension, this individual can seemingly rise above—all the while being the cause of the agitations.

3. The Deceiver

Another example of manipulation in the workplace is when an individual uses deception for self-serving measures. The deceiver gains control by lying to management and fellow colleagues about other people.

4. The Mean-Spirited

This fourth example of manipulation in the workplace involves someone who is mean-spirited and causes dissension purely for the sake of causing havoc. They have a selfish end goal. However, the genesis of the behavior is rooted in being mean-spirited.

See Also: Can You Seduce Your Way To The Top?

It is important to remember that you have the right not to be manipulated. One way to prevent yourself from being manipulated is to understand how a manipulator operates and to be aware of the tactics he might use. When you’re aware, you can prepare yourself to be on both the defense and offense. You must continually have an open mind and be prepared to stand your ground so that you don’t succumb to the various intimidation tactics mentioned in this article.

Have you ever suffered the ill effects of a manipulator in your office? How did you deal with the situation? Your thoughts and comments below please...




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