Stay Away From Pot-Stirrers

If your organization is devoid of pot stirrers, you’re lucky. It seems at least one gets into every organization.

They are not happy unless there is chaos—much of which is created by them. They are your best friend one day and stabbing you in the back, complaining about your competence to your boss the next—all the while having set you up to miss the deadline that they’re complaining to your boss.

They say seemingly innocent statements with a sting like, “I don’t know why you work such long hours—I really value MY family.” Or “Gosh, there has been a lot of turnover here—I wonder who is next.” Or “I suppose we won’t get bonuses this year because the boss just invested in a new machine.”

They tend to have turbulent and unstable relationships at home and at every job they have. They describe almost every boss they ever had as being “untrustworthy” or otherwise evil. Of course, it has little to do with their bosses, but they always need to make somebody wrong and bosses are an easy target. In reality, their projection of their own issues is endless.

The scary part is you think you’re safe to listen to them—they DID of course tell you that you wore a halo. But that’s just part of the manipulation. Behind your back, if not already, real soon, you will be the devil.

They try to make you feel like you are safe to be the recipient of their gossip. In fact, no one is safe around them—you included. Just because they perceive everyone as either with them or against them, being on “their side” today is fragile and you will be the one “against them” as early as tomorrow.

So, what do you do if you have a pot stirrer in your midst?

Next week we’ll cover the four things to do if the toxic impact of a pot-stirrer has entered your organization.

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