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Article Teaser: A friend once said, "People don't leave their work, they leave the people they work with." Personality dynamics have a great influence on workplace satisfaction. Discover a mind, body and spirit solution to managing the Liam the Liars, Mean Girls and Gossiping Gails in your life.

Keep reading below...

Workplace Characters - Meet And Learn How To Handle Liam The Liar, The Mean Girls And Gossiping Gail

Copyright (c) 2006-2017

A friend once said, "People don't leave their work, they leave the people they work with." Personality dynamics have a great influence on workplace satisfaction. Discover a mind, body and spirit solution to managing the Liam the Liars, Mean Girls and Gossiping Gails in your life.

This article wouldn't be possible without the contribution of many people, each of whom you will be well acquainted with. It doesn't matter what organisation you work in, you always come across the same players.

Let's meet some of the characters.

Liam the Liar

Depending on his prowess, it may take time before you uncover Liam the Liar.

As the lies roll of his tongue he is able to look you in the eye with a sincerity that does not raise alarm bells.

His true colours are only revealed when you start putting two and two together and the evidence runs through your mind, 'Liam told his assistant, Tammy, that he just came out of a meeting where he asked his boss if Tammy could work flexible hours. He told her his boss said, 'No'. I just came out of the same meeting and he didn't even bring it up for discussion.' Once you get an inkling that something isn't right, the evidence rolls in to support your hunch.

Liam is at his most dangerous when he actually believes his own lies and he can't differentiate fact from fiction.

You can't beat a liar as no matter what tact you take they will lie their way out of the situation. They don't care who they take down in the process as long as they sustain their power.

To avoid being trapped in Liam the Liar's lair of deceit, it's important that as soon as you discover his first lie you call him on it. Occasionally, a mediated group intervention is required whereby a number of people must confront him about his behaviour. He may believe he's still right, but he will be forced to see that a few of you are on to him.

Liam's success is based on the fact that although we all know he's lying, we rarely challenge him about it.

The Mean Girls

It doesn't say much for the sisterhood, but 99% of the time the office meanies are women.

They are malicious on their own, but in packs they are invincible. Occasionally you can divide and conquer. I remember telling one office Meanie an idea and she acknowledged it was an excellent concept. When I presented it in a meeting her fellow Meanies acted like I'd just said, "Tomorrow I'd like to use your children as sacrificial lambs and burn them at the stake." She did not say a thing, there was no "Belinda spoke to me about the initiative and I didn't think it was too bad." She couldn't even throw me a bone. She sat in silence while her fellow Meanies beat me up.

In one company I called them the 'trifecta of trouble'. Three women who were so evil, that if you tried to stand up for yourself, they'd victimise you ten-fold. In fact, I'm sure one of them actually vandalised my car after a particularly nasty bout.

Occasionally the Mean Girls eat their own. If the group is cornered, and there is no way out, they will sacrifice one of the clan. Always done behind their back, they usually forgo the person who is on holiday or sick leave. The Mean Girls are the ones who don't invite you to the pub after work. If you see them sipping wine at the local and make an effort to be friendly they bare their teeth to make it clear you're not welcome.

If you get in the lift with them and say a cheery "Good morning", their response is shutout silence.

They travel in packs at lunch, tea breaks, smoke-o and social occasions. The 'Welcome' mat is never out. Their nails are perfect talons making them ideal backstabbing weapons. If you didn't fear for your life, you'd place bowls of milk on their desk each morning to remind them how catty they are.

Their cunning ensures they massage the egos of the right people so they fly under the radar. They always have a protector, and if that person is thrown to the lions they quickly adopt a new leader. Usually, someone who is so grateful to no longer be victimised that they are willing to be the fall-guy (or gal) when the next 'cat'astrophe hits.

Mean Girls are terrible bullies, yet nobody seems to do anything about them, allowing them to continue their bad behaviour. The few who have stood up to them are either cowering messes or resign because management doesn't take their complaints seriously.


Gossiping Gail

If you want to spread information around the organisation, have a quiet conversation with Gossiping Gail. Need it spread sooner rather than later? Say it's a secret.

Gossipers often have empty lives so they focus on everybody else's. They are the investigative reporters of the corporate world, constantly digging to uncover the latest on their colleagues. Gails are highly creative; if what they've discovered isn't juicy enough they have excellent embellishment skills. Gail is the equivalent of the 6 o'clock news. She only focuses on the bad stuff. If you happily share that you're pregnant, it doesn't pass her lips. If you tell her you're pregnant and are considering an abortion, you may as well put it on the office Intranet.

You will easily identify Gossiping Gail as she rarely speaks at full volume. She communicates the latest news in whispers and appears to have a tick as she constantly checks over her shoulder to make sure no one else hears. Personally, I don't see why she is so worried about who may be standing behind her listening, as she'll eventually tell them anyway. Perhaps she just wants you to think you're getting an exclusive.

Gossiping Gail is fuelled by your willingness to listen.

How to handle this situation

  • Mind

    Ideally we'd like our colleagues to buy into the, "do unto others as you would have them do to you" ideology. Unfortunately, many don't, so you have to acknowledge that we're all different. If Gossiping Gail comes near you, be clear that you're not open to that type of discussion. Don't entertain Liam the Liar's rubbish for even one second and be professional with the Mean Girls, but have little interaction beyond that.

  • Body

    Each of these characters attempts to diminish your power. There's no time for slouching or uncertainty when talking to them, let your body language show you're not to be messed with. It's a case of stand tall, shoulders back.

  • Spirit

    It's challenging to change the behaviour of others, so in dealing with these characters I suggest adopting Reinhold Niebuhr's Serenity Prayer, "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Belinda Crosbie is creating an inspiration epidemic. Her website http://www.lifebydesire.com encourages people to abandon the rat race and pursue a motivating and fulfilling life. 'Escape the CHASM (TM)' is an initiative that invites you to ask probing questions and make choices with clear intent to create a rewarding and meaningful life. To find out more, subscribe to a FREE newsletter http://www.lifebydesire.com/subscribe.htm . Belinda holds a Bachelor degree in Psychology, Masters of Commerce in Marketing and a Higher Diploma of Advanced Freelance Journalism. She has been a business consultant and mentor for over 17 years.

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    Internal ID: #3917
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