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 Bad Behavior and the Cost to Business


Behavior and performance are synonymous.  Just as performance can be improved, corrected, or modified, behavior can also be addressed by a manager or coach.  For the purpose of discussion the behaviors that are often seen in organizational consultations always have options. 

Behaviors of Note

1. Passive Aggressive

Passive aggressive behavior is the number one tactic used to resist change, defend turf, and fight the move to teaming and empowerment.  It is used by many levels within organizations but is a primary tool of managers.  It is effective because it is difficult to spot as it is not open resistance but one of delaying tactics, confusion, and frustrates those it is aimed at.

Time is money!   We have all heard this, but the lack of obvious opposition to change delays recognition, confrontation, and resolution of objections to change in policy or practice.  Time passes, confusing e-mails, missed or un-returned phone calls, unasked questions, and everyone is just "too busy" become the obstacles that we run into.

Open opposition, questions, obvious expression of doubts and requirements from staff that need to be addressed should be expected, addressed in a timely manner, and taken into account and are part of the change process.

2. Politics

Internal politics are a creation within organizations that are tangling alliances and guarded communications systems that resist change at all costs.  Rank, hierarchy, and tradition fight change to keep from a loss of power.  The manager resists losing control, resents the empowerment over decisions going to line staff, and paints a picture of extreme risk if such change happens.

Flat organizations with shared accountability break down the political battles as long as change benefits the organization as a whole. This does not mean that there should not be conflicting thought but that when there is disagreement there is an acceptance that all parties have a right and responsibility to come forward with concerns that can be addressed. Such interactions have the potential to make the organization stronger and more adaptable to changes in the market place. 

3. Dysfunctional Behavior and Settings

Employee Assistance/Work Life Programs (EAP) work effectively with dysfunctional individuals, groups and problem family members as well.  The EAP has systematically provided confidential and professional intervention for such issues as psychological disorder, substance abuse, critical incident stress disorder from a traumatic situation in the work place, and serious family problems.

It is important to address the causes of Bad Behavior, not just the symptoms.   Without accurate assessment or problem identification the underlying cause of the behavior will not change.  When addressing Bad Behavior it is important to believe everything that you see.  People's actions speak to commitment and growth, while our words are well intended they do not necessarily reflect day to day consistent reality.