I enjoy receiving requests for help and guidance from readers. Here is one concerning a Backstabber in the office. How is your personal development? Do you have the communication skills to handle a situation like this? My comments are in ALL CAPS (AND I’M NOT SCREAMING!)
“A long-time employee in our office, who is respected by all of the companies shareholders, is a challenging person for her coworkers to work with. In the years I have worked with her, her interactions with me have always been positive. She is very skilled at projecting the desired image to those she perceives to be in positions of authority or power.”
“She is described by her coworkers: Will not share information about clients that others need. If directly asked for the information, she will respond with ‘I’ll take care of it’ and then may not take care of it, but may just wait for the other person to handle it wrong.
TRY THE ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION MODLE: IT MIGHT SOUND SOMETHING LIKE THIS:
1. THANKS FOR TAKING CARE OF THIS
2. I NEED TO HAVE THIS COMPLETED BY __________ FOR ______________.
3. WILL IT BE DONE BY ______________ OR ______________
SHOULD I CHECK BACK WITH YOU ON __________ OR ________________.
4. THEN IF IT DOES COME BACK AND IS A MESS – USE:
IN THE FUTURE, I NEED TO MAKE SURE THIS IS COMPLETED. SO I WILL MAKE SURE I GET A CONFIRMING EMAIL OFF TO YOU BECAUSE I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT NOT BEING COMPLETED PROPERLY BECAUSE I DIDN’T CHECK IN WITH YOU OR PERHAPS WASN’T CLEAR ON WHAT NEEDED TO BE COMPLETED.
And the scenarion continues. “She is often very crabby with other staff – never with the shareholders.”
CALL THE BEHAVIOR. ASK HER, HAVE I DONE SOMETHING TO PERSONALLY UPSET YOU?
“Will not take responsibility for her mistakes – blames others.” (SEE MODEL ABOVE AND I WOULD RECOMMEND WRITING IT OUT SO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH RESPONSE.
“She likes to stir up trouble but feigns ignorance if directly asked about it.” THAT SOUNDED LIKE A PUT DOWN. IS THAT WHAT YOU MEANT? IF NOT, HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHERE YOU ARE COMING FROM.
THE QUESTION IS – DOES HER BEHAVIOR PERSONALLY EFFECT YOU? IF NOT, IT IS IMPORTANT TO GIVE OTHER PEOPLE THE SUGGESTIONS AND HELP WITH THEIR COMMUNICATION SKILLS, BUT NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM FOR THEM. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPROVE A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN TWO PEOPLE, UNLESS YOU WORK AS THE MEDIATOR WITH BOTH OF THEM IN THE SAME ROOM.