Jerk Behaviors - We're all Guilty

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A few years ago I became certified in "Love Em' or Lose Em'" by Career Systems International (Read more about the program: http://www.keepem.com/). I loved teaching the full day course to leaders because it covered important topics that most leaders don't think about: personal core values, retention styles, and my favorite of all - jerk behaviors. 

We all have jerk behaviors. They show up when we're stressed or frustrated and they show up when we don't like the person we're working with (or for). 

The hardest jerk behaviors to identify are the intangible ones, not the swearing, interrupting, screaming, condescending, or table pounding behaviors that immediately show someone is a jerk. These behaviors take a while to uncover and are blinking lights once they're finally identified. (As in, "I always knew she acted like a martyr but this email solidifies it for me.")

Jerk behavior is contagious.

Ever notice how swearing in a certain project meeting becomes the norm? Or how suddenly it's status quo to gossip about other departments during a team outing? The intangible behaviors are contagious too, and they're more lethal because people don't admit to being manipulative or showing favoritism. 

Take a look at this list of intangible behaviors and identify the ones that you exhibit by using the following scale: 1 - I do this, but rarely; 2 - Truthfully I do this pretty often; 3 - Wow, I'm a repeat offender. How easy is it to change each of the behaviors? Some can be changed with awareness or a personal action plan, but others are deeply ingrained (maybe it's how we were raised). 

  • Not listening
  • Condescending or criticizing
  • Expecting perfection without guidance
  • Expecting preferential treatment
  • Impatient
  • Manipulating/Controlling
  • Stealing credit
  • Acting like the martyr
  • Getting revenge or payback
  • Withholding information to keep power or prestige
  • Playing favorites
  • Never accepting blame
  • Throwing others under the bus
  • Not standing behind a decision
  • Enjoying making people sweat

View the full list of jerk behaviors here