Don't be that person! Dealing with passive-aggressive behaviour at work


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PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE behaviour in the workplace can be incredibly frustrating – it feels like a no-win situation. Here are some ways to identify your passive-aggressive co-workers:

  • They say nothing in meetings, but make comments afterwards in corridors.
  • They say what they think to everyone... except the person involved in the issue.
  • Everything revolves around them.

So how can you combat this behaviour?

  • Don’t let their passive behaviour make you become aggressive – keep a cool head.
  • Call out the issue, i.e. “I heard you were not happy with the meeting. Let’s discuss.”
  • Stay focused on improving the future rather than dwelling on past issues
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Don’t give up – it might take them a while to realise you mean business.

Focus on your expected outcomes and what’s best for the project, tasks or team. If trying to combat their poor behaviour is taking too long, try to address it at a more convenient time.

- Kelly Maniatis

Managing Director and Organisational Psychologist

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Requiring more assistance to understand workplace behaviours, to coach difficult personalities, or to build your own workplace resilience? Contact Left Field today to discuss how we can support and work alongside you with our science-based practice. 

Left Field Consulting Services 07 3716 0165 , or view some of our services