By Hall of Fame Speaker Connie Podesta
Nothing throws a wrench in a meeting like the sneers of passive-aggressive people. Sitting there, arms folded, huffing and puffing. But they never really say what’s bugging them. Ugh!
The next move is yours, and it’s pretty clear-cut. If you don’t shut down that sabotaging behavior now, you’re basically giving them a free pass to be rude. They are getting away with it, and you’re letting them. The only solution is to take a stand—and take action.
I know what you’re thinking now: “But Connie, I don’t like conflict.” I get it. Most people don’t. And I’m certainly not suggesting that you pick a fight.
What I am saying is this… When we allow people around us to behave in ways that are disrespectful or disruptive, we’re essentially giving them permission to continue with that negative behavior. And you can bet it will happen over and over and over again.
If you’re a leader (and, in some ways, we all are), don’t settle for that kind of treatment. Here’s a simple, three-step approach to help you eliminate the sabotage.
1. Call them out. Not aggressively or with malice, but just using a simple statement. “We can hear your grumbling. What’s up? Is there something you’d like to say?”
2. Offer to resolve the issue. Search for the root of the passive-aggressive behavior. Is it all the result of a bad attitude? Or does the push-back have any merit? Either way, the behavior is still unacceptable, but your willingness to diffuse the situation can help you move forward in a more productive manner.
3. Remove yourself (or that person) from the situation. Sadly, some people are just fully committed to being irritable. They don’t want to engage, and they don’t really have any desire to find a resolution. If it’s a group meeting and you’re the manager, you have the right to invite them to leave the room. If it’s a one-on-one encounter with someone who is blatantly obstinate, choose to walk away. As I’ve often heard it said, you don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to.
Bottom line? Quit allowing people to sabotage your meetings, your collaborations, and your conversations. You get to set the standard for how you’re treated. Set the bar high!
Watch below to learn more:
You might also want to check out my series The Top 10 Things You Need to Quit to Be a Better Communicator on YouTube.
Could your team members benefit from strong, timely communication skills with a serious psychology spin? Want to help them listen more effectively and develop stronger connections with clients, colleagues and customers? Give me a call! I’ve got just the right keynote topic for your next event.