What does it take to work with an office manipulator? In this piece, the author offers three strategies for dealing with a manipulator at work: First, be skeptical about receiving too much special attention from them. Manipulators don’t usually show their true colors at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, they often present themselves as allies or confidantes. Second, be willing to risk small public confrontations. Sometimes the only way to expose a manipulator’s maneuverings is by confronting them in the moment. Finally, refuse to keep secrets or to act as interpreter in ways that normalize underhanded behavior. Instead, be direct and hold your ground. No matter your power, rank, or status, these tips can help anyone stay productive when forced to work with a manipulative colleague.
Almost everyone who’s ever gone to work has had to deal with an office manipulator. Unfortunately, most employees hesitate to go public with their concerns. And with good reason: Even if they do, typical corporate responses range from wary or dismissive to actually retaliating against the victim, rather than the wrongdoer.
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