The ABC of Detractors A – H

We all know someone – who do you recognise?

A  – Argumentative Amy

No matter what you say – they will always want to have a counter argument.  Their favourite word is ‘but’ and they can never settle for what has been decided.  They are rarely solution focused in their approach and can be quite pessimistic in nature. The argumentative type will always look for the flaws, the holes, the shortcomings and will be focused on them.

B  – Blocking Bernie

Another argumentative person but specifically uses blocking words and phrases or arguments to stop things moving forward. ‘But’ is  a favourite word and they may also say phrases like ‘ I can’t agree until……’. For them certain things need to be in place before they can move forward and it’s not necessarily about perfectionism it can also be about slowing something down or trying to wear someone down. It’s a power game.

C  -Caustic Kevin and Critical Christine

Not only will critical Christine never be complimentary or happy about what is going on or decision that has been made but they will ensure everyone knows about it and will spread their negative caustic energy whilst doing it. Will they offer an alternative or a suggestion that improves? Hell No! They are most comfortable in their negativity and spreading it around.

D – Deflecting Derrick

Yes – clearly they are responsible for whatever it is but they have become very skilled in directing attention away from themselves or even the matter in question.  They will make what appears to be reasoned arguments as to why something has not been done and bring other factors in that will try to persuade you that pink is blue and if you are not sharp you will follow their line and end up far away from the matter in question.

E – Evasive Eric

Similar to deflecting but this person may be more skilled at physically avoiding an issue. Being off sick at key times or sending apologies to a meeting where they know they may be called to account.  This is their first line of defence. If that fails then they become deflectors and if that is not working they may resort to other diversionary tactics like not just going off sick but on stress leave or taking out a grievance or complaint. And guess what? Procedurally you are bound to hear this grievance so whatever the real issue is…. You’ll have to wait!!

F – Filibustering Fred

Now here’s the good talker.  Fred wants to buy time so he takes advantage of weak chairing and is allowed to dominate the space with long speeches.  He makes sure that what he is saying is relevant enough so there is less reason to shut him up. He’s a time waster with an ego problem and filibustering is almost like therapy for him in the group setting.

G  – Gerrymandering Geraldine

Has sufficient power within the organisation or group to position people in order to manipulate a particular decision that will be in her favour.  She is a surreptitious underminer who places her allies in key positions to push forward her agenda. She will not be upfront about her opposition but will use others and coach them accordingly in preparation for challenging on her behalf.

H – Haranguing Hilary

Lacking in people skills, they do not have sufficient skills like a gerrymanderer to operate by stealth or have the courage to just be upfront and articulate a reasoned and thought out oppositional position. In fact courage may not even be needed but they definitely need to have things go their way and will resort to what may be described as bullying to get their own way.  They may not try this with the leader but Argumentative Amy and Blocking Bernie will be her best friends or even part of her character. When her behaviour is expressed in a group situation it becomes amplified as a barrier to progress in that environment and people are left feeling attacked.

More to follow from …..including solutions!