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How to Recognize a Manipulator Personality

To be able to address problems with people most effectively, it helps to understand them. The following list of behaviors will help you recognize manipulator personalities in the workplace.

Manipulators use their behavior to get their way. The first two behavioral types listed below are rather obvious manipulative behaviors, while the following three are more subtle.

  1. "Guilt mongers" play on people's emotions.
  2. "Gossipers" spread criticism and distrust among coworkers.
  3. "Underminers" do things that harm the efforts of other employees.
  4. "Passive-aggressives" will:
    • Outwardly agree to do something.
    • Not follow through with action.
    • Justify the lack of action, often using guilt and acting like a victim.
  5. "Lovable people" use positive words and amiable traits to persuade people to:
    • Do their work for them.
    • Cover for them.
    • Not apply consequences for his or her lack of achievement.
Author: Sheri Schmeckpeper

Sheri Schmeckpeper holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Financial Management and Computer Information Systems as well as a Master's degree in Adult Education and Distance Learning. She is a Microsoft Certified Professional and Trainer. Sheri has implemented distance learning programs at three top institutions of higher education, has been a guest speaker on radio, and has presented at local and national training workshops. Her diverse background includes technology, education, interpersonal relations, finance, and management. Sheri has developed and facilitated courses in the areas of instructional technology and online learning, faculty development, communications, finance, and professional development and achievement. She is currently co-founder of the Institute for Instructional Excellence and directs the Center for Excellent Living where she is also a life coach.

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