The persistent workplace aggressive environment can turn almost anyone into an aggressor. So, we all need to be aware that aggressive workplaces can transform any worker into an aggressor.   However, some workers are at an increased risk and more susceptible to be persistent workplace aggressors. Identifying these indicators helps organizations better understand persistent workplace aggression and allows them to weed out possible aggressors before they hire them.

One of these markers that help identify a workplace aggressor starts when people are getting their education. Research shows that students who have faculty and internship advisors who are not role modeling good professional boundaries are more likely to mirror this bad behavior in the workplace. Unfortunately, these students tend learn that aggression is rewarded and they replicate this in the workplace.

Certain personality qualities also are red flags that help identify future persistent workplace aggressors. Two that are directly connected are self-reflection and blaming others. 

People who are not able to self-reflect on their own behavior and understand how it impacts others are at high risk to be potential aggressors. Lacking this skill is detrimental to the workplace because these individuals have no ability to see how their aggression is negatively impacting the environment. Workers who are unable to self-reflect are unable to change their behavior.

Blaming other people for one’s behavior is another characteristic that aids in identifying persistent workplace aggressors.  These individuals are unable to reflect on their own behavior and they blame everyone else in the organization for what is happening. Their behavior does not cause issues in the organization. It is everyone else’s fault. As such, they are not responsible nor do they need to alter their behavior. Blaming others combined with lack of reflection are key warnings that the worker could be a budding persistent workplace aggressor.  People with these qualities tend to target those workers who they view as being problematic. Even though, in reality, they are most likely the ones who are difficult to work with.

Anyone of us have the potential to be aggressors in the workplace. However, there are indicators that can help organizations identify potential persistent workplace aggressors. It is recommended that organizations develop screening processes to assist them with identifying workers who might bring total chaos into the workplace.

If you or your organization are experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com. Help is out there.



12/19/2016 6:02am

Workplace aggression is a tough issue that companies may face. For employees, dealing with a workplace aggressor is a challenge. When in conflict, aggressors often defend their interests at the expense of others and of course, this is not a good thing. An aggressor's actions and behaviors are based on their belief that they must show their tough personality so they can get what they want. So anyone who's experiencing workplace aggression must seek help. Anyway, thanks for sharing this post. I hope you'll write soon!

12/19/2016 7:54pm

I don't know that workplace aggression is about being tough. I think it has more to do with the person having low self-esteem. Their aggression is aimed typically at people who are better workers. They want to harm these people because they make the aggressor look bad. They use fear to control the environment. This control makes them feel powerful.


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