“If you don’t like it, find another place to work.”
“If you are so unhappy here, perhaps we can help you find a place more suited to your talents.”
“What do I have to do to get your cooperation?”
Persecuting behavior comes in various flavors. From the blunt, to the subtle, to the passive aggressive to the almost undetectable body language. What it has in common is the messages communicated.
You irritate me.
You waste my time.
You are incompetent.
I don’t care about your feelings.
I’m more important than you.
Very bluntly, some refer to such leaders A-Holes, and some of these A-Holes are proud of it. A leader without people-skills is a bully on board. The map might be accurate, the navigation skills supreme but if you keep beating your team with the oars, your persecutor behavior will eventually show up as absenteeism, backstabbing, and turnover. The number one reason employees leave is due to relationship issues with their boss.
The word “persecutor” comes from Dr. Karpman’s work, the Drama Triangle. The idea is that when there is dysfunction you will find three patterns: Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer, as indicated by the visual below.
How to Identify Persecutor Behaviors
- The need to win every argument
- Justifying rude behavior
- Harsh criticism with no mercy
- Angry outbursts
1. Get clear on how you want to represent yourself
3. Ask for feedback as to how others view you
4. Correct yourself when you make a mistake by apologizing or re-framing
Quote: “The need to win every argument.” Who really wins with these folks? No one. It’s unfortunate that Persecutors are in leadership roles, and how do we stop their drama when they’re the direct boss?
That’s a great question Lisa. The way we stop their drama, is to not respond in the typical way. In other words, you don’t bite the hook. Instead of reacting, stay silent, or set a boundary. Don’t let their drama determine your reaction. This takes a lot of focus and clarity but it is the way you change the pattern and stay out of the drama triangle.