Dr. Vali Hawkins Mitchell Releases 'The Cost of Emotions in the Workplace'
We've all seen and felt them at work - and maybe even been recruited by or been a victim of their handiwork. Psychologically, Emotional Terrorists (ET's) seek and find pleasure in the discomfort of others and are experts in using emotions as weapons and strategies to achieve their agendas.
Dr. Vali Hawkins Mitchell, a nationally recognized clinical psychologist, consultant, and author of the new book 'The Cost of Emotons in the Workplace' in managing workplace emotions, defines Emotional Terrorism: "Emotional mechanisms and behaviors to force an emotional agenda on someone else with the intention of controlling a situation, or accumulating territory, real, perceived, or symbolic."
Hapless employees may not even know the roles they've been assigned in this drama. When the script and cast assignments of good guys/bad guys, heroes and villains are written by the Emotional Terrorist instead of the manager, administration, or significant influencers, then the question becomes who's the director of the show. Who's really running a department or company? It might surprise.
Dr. Mitchell gives eight primary attributes of Emotional Terrorists, noting they areexperts at using information to deny accountability, manipulate the vulnerable, groom new victims, litigate to gain position, or defend their own threatened innocence.
1) Entitlement. Emotional Terrorists (ET's) believe they deserve more than anyone else. Entitlement leans toward justification, self- aggrandized thinking, which affords permission to "take from" others. For example, an ET thinks: "I'm entitled to extra time off, and since I have my co-worker Suzie under my control, I'll make it look like she's not working as hard as I am. She can take the rap for me later and get angry, which I can use to complain that I'm a victim of her moods. And if the manager doesn't give me the day off, I'll start telling people he's having an affair."
2) Bulletproof. ET's are mysteriously special, immune to consequences, and unquestionably correct. They might blatantly steal and brag about it. They see themselves as increasingly omniscient and omnipotent, and begin to behave over-the-top and become less willing to be managed.
3) Antagonistic. Antagonism is hostile. Its mission is chaos, not the change requested. ET's create an atmosphere of tension and conflict hidden behind polite behaviors. They enjoy finding and pushing the vulnerable until they're slightly off balance. They have an amazing capacity to keep conflict going even in the midst of peacemakers. Something or someone else - often management - is the "problem."
4) Entrenched. ET's don't quit, don't back down, and are willing to sacrifice others. They see often themselves as martyrs. They refuse to see a workable solution or shared interests. Entrenchment is all-or-nothing, win-lose thinking. ET's don't let anything deter them from their goal of control.