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How should I deal with individuals in my organization who exhibit passive-aggressive behaviors?  
Passive-aggressive individuals tend to mask their internal aggressive emotions by indirectly expressing it in subtle, nonverbal ways to others. For example, these individuals are often resentful of authority figures (parents, teachers, employers, etc.) and may be bitter about others’ successes or positions. They may appear to be team players by agreeing to take on a task, but often sabotage it by purposely performing substandard work, or suddenly becoming sick or unavailable in order to avoid doing the task promised. Other behaviors associated with passive-aggressive people include having a negative attitude all the time, subtly criticizing authority figures, or purposely “forgetting” to do something. It is important to identify people in your organization who display this type of behavior so you can properly manage it and avoid group conflict. Individuals often display passive-aggressive behavior to get attention. As a leader, if you recognize this, you may want to find ways to give this person some attention to gain his/her cooperation. Find something the individuals are good at and ask them to take the lead on a project that would allow them to use their talents. However, check with the individual periodically (or work with him/her) to make sure the project is on schedule. Recognize the fact that this individual may be trying to manipulate you. It is not your responsibility to change his/her ways, but to work with different personality types and group behaviors as best you can in order for your organization to be cohesive and meet your goals. Check with some of the references listed here for more information on how to deal with varied and often disruptive behaviors in a group setting.
Keywords: Leader, managing others, Leadership, Behavior

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