Up Against a Workplace Street Fighter: 7 Traps to Avoid

This question came in from the Ask A Coach portal.

Do you face a street fighter at work? Street fighters bait you, hoping you’ll trip into a trap so they can take you out.

Here are the traps you need to avoid:

Trap 1: denial
When a street fighter attacks you, a million thoughts run through your mind, such as: “This is unfair, and everyone will realize that.” “All I need to do is wait this out.” The opposite proves true. Your inaction lets the street fighter know that you’ll go down easy. If a street fighter launches an attack on you, you need to deal with it, or you allow him free rein.

Trap 2: reaction
Like mosquitoes that fuel themselves on human blood, street fighters feed off your reaction to their words and antics. Don’t reward a street fighter by reacting — or you give him energy. If he baits you, you can always respond, “Nice try, didn’t work.”

Trap 3: collusion
If you swallow an attacker’s judgments or allow a street fighter to shape how you see yourself, you aid and abet him and become less of who you are. You wouldn’t let another person stomp on your foot or physically slam you off balance. Don’t let a street fighter bump into and push you over inside your head.

Trap 4: delusion
Hoping for good treatment from a street fighter because you act professionally is like entering a ring with a bull, believing he’ll treat you well because you’re a vegetarian.

Trap 5: stooping
Street fighters have years of experience, giving them the advantage if you climb into the ring with them. Don’t let a street fighter push you into unprofessional acts that you’ll later regret.

Trap 6: appeasing
Street fighters love to make others back down. Don’t be afraid to firmly and professionally dish out negative consequences to someone who attacks you. Give a street fighter or any other bully an inch and he becomes your ruler.

Trap 7: chasing
Street fighters excel at launching salvos over the bow, leading you to spend energy chasing trumped-up issues while the fighter perfects his onslaught. Don’t reach for everything tossed at you by a street fighter. By disengaging, you give the street fighter less attention and therefore less power.

If you’d like more detail on these traps or strategies for staying grounded and outsmarting the bully, you might like, https://www.amazon.com/Beating-Workplace-Bully-Tactical-Taking/dp/0814436889/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1619064805&sr=8-2

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