To read the rest of this article from the Denver Business Journal, see:
How to Stop Terminally Resistant Bullies at Work
We’re not talking about employees who will respond to encouragement and exhortation, rewards and consequences, or people who are difficult to supervise but who will make progress when you’re clear, not-personal and specify measurable steps and timelines in your feedback. We’re not even talking about boundary pushers who waste your time and energy keeping your guard up but who may eventually perform.
We are talking about the people who will fight to the death to have control of making and interpreting the rules. They won’t accept any other authority in their little ponds; they demand unconditional support and subservience from everyone.
You recognize them – these bullies have black belts in resistance and will block every move you make.
- They’re the righteous guardians of how things “should” be and you’re “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
- When you don’t do it their way, no matter how small your mistake, they feel justified in retaliating, harassing or bullying you in any way they want because, “You deserve it and it serves you right.”
- They insist that their difficulties are always acceptable excuses for their lack of performance.
- It’s your fault because you hurt their feelings (your feelings don’t count). Therefore, you have all the responsibility to apologize and make things acceptable to them - according to their rules.
You have to make it perfect for them before you can hold them accountable – and you can never be perfect enough.
- They are never satisfied. They expect every favor even if they didn’t do the work to make them deserving.
These narcissistic, abusive bullies will not change in your work-lifetime.
Like infected splinters, the only way to deal with these terminally resistant bullies is to remove them. Follow the law and company codes – demand professional behavior, professional communication and high standards of performance.
Unfortunately you may not have the authority to remove a terminally resistant employee. You may have one for a coworker or supervisor or you may work for an organization which has a culture that puts compassion for the bully before compassion for all those who must deal with him/her or before the necessary performance standards.
If your company harbors a Human Resources Department that always blames managers, never employees, for employee dissatisfaction, you may have to get HR to supervise the resistant employee.
It’s a matter of conscience about trying to off-load the resistant employee to another unsuspecting supervisor (which is often how you got that person to begin with) or to a supervisor who loves these challenges.
If you have no authority, common strategies are to protect yourself, wait it out, look for a “smoking gun”, risk bringing it up with higher authorities or transfer within the company.
If no higher authority cares or the company rewards whistle blowers with ostracism or firing, find another company. Why leave yourself exposed to a source of infection that will ultimately poison your environment and your life?
The best way to stop terminally resistant, controlling, bullying employees and managers who destroy teamwork and productivity is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and organizational consulting.