Strategies to Cope with the Passive-Aggressive Behaviour
It is certain that behaviours of a passive-aggressive employees are complex and their causes are often deeply rooted in their way of coping with anxiety, stress, and personal insecurities. Here, it is necessary to understand the cause of such patterns to be able to deal with them effectively.
To nip passive-aggressive behaviour in the bud, it is necessary for team leaders to participate in effective goal setting. Good goals can go bad because of misleading and when goals aren’t clear or the employees are not acknowledged for their skill set. The management must work hard to set expectations, limits, and deadlines in advance. It is seen that clearly defined goals and responsibilities allow employees to work as per the agreed points and have been said to have a positive effect on the success of employees and the organization as a whole.
According to HR Review, workers believe that colleagues who exhibit damaging behaviours are likely to not have benefitted from the appropriate training. For many employees, since passive-aggressive behaviour has stemmed from general work-related stress and poor communication skills, leaders and management need to invest in training to improve soft skills like communication and team building to help employees convey their message clearly without getting frustrated.
To address passive-aggressive behaviour, employees need support. Leaders should also concentrate on positive interaction, time management, communication, and problem-solving. Education and timely training can also help in recognizing and redirecting these behaviours. Employees should also be involved in leading training to lend them confidence and to make them believe that they can bring about a change.
Leaders also need to be aware that their own behaviour may reflect passive-aggressive characteristics. For instance, ask the team, “What have we not talked about? Or “Would anyone like to share their opinions on this matter?” Leaders need to encourage two-way communication to help head off passive-aggressive patterns before their onset. As a leader, you can also hold discussions personally so that employees don’t feel embarrassed in front of their co-workers. By doing so, one is able to create a psychologically safe workplace where healthy, constructive problem-solving can thrive.
Technology in today’s era plays an important role in bridging the gap. It can be used to not only improve employee experiences, but, also to identify/predict the concern areas before they blew out of proportion.
The organization, as a whole, needs to explore ways to improve and sustain its culture where every individual gets an equal opportunity to showcase his/her talents in a productive way.