My daughter isn’t passive about passive-aggressive behavior. A few years ago, I spent part of the holidays in Florida with my youngest daughter and her family. Her 12-year-old daughter had just received her first two C’s ever on her report card. It was her first time dealing with seven periods, multiple teachers, and the chaos of middle school. She also had missed some school and misunderstood the makeup system. Regardless, she got her first C’s. It wasn’t something her mother would be passive-aggressive about.
Quit Being Passive about Passive-Aggressive Behavior
My granddaughter was reminded of her grades at the Tampa Aquarium we visited when her younger brother’s grades qualified him for free admission. She didn’t qualify. Her mom paid for her ticket. There were several reminders, including one as we waited on a delayed train. My granddaughter told her mom to stop being passive-aggressive about her grades. Her mother explained she was aggressive about the grades. However, there was nothing passive about it. She was straightforward and to the point. If the grades didn’t come up, then outside activities would go down.
My daughter is an award-winning AP macroeconomic high school teacher. She will help her daughter, and if her daughter doesn’t take the help, mom will hold her to the consequences.
My daughter didn’t mention the grades to my wife or me out of context. She didn’t come to us passively-aggressively complaining about her daughter’s grades. We become aware of the two C’s through conversation between mother and daughter.
Quit Complaining and Do Something About it
Here’s my point. How often have we all, self-included, complained to others, griped about a situation without taking action, or become angry with no plan other than being mad? Was my daughter concerned, disappointed, maybe even upset? Of course, she was, but she didn’t hide behind her anger. She did something about it. As she told her daughter, there was nothing passive about her reaction to the grades.
- When you’re concerned, upset, or disappointed, do something about it. And I don’t mean wallow in your anger. Take action.
- If you perceive someone has harmed you or your reputation, tell them. Don’t do it with anger. Try this method, The Pinch Method of Conflict Management.
- Don’t involve others that have nothing to do with the circumstance. When you do that, it becomes gossip, and you become a viscous gossiper.
- Take action – if there’s a solution, make it happen, and if there isn’t a ready solution, work on creating one.
Stop Being Passive
Quit being passive about passive-aggressive behavior; It doesn’t help, doesn’t fix anything, and might make things worse. Rather than hold it in and develop ulcers, let it out but let it out to the right people in a calm manner with a plan of action.
Postscript: I spent time with my daughter and her family this summer. My granddaughter, her of the two C’s, is a high school sophomore. She made straight A’s as a freshman and earned several college credits for the AP courses she took. And yes, she’s at the same school where her mom teaches but won’t take her mom’s course until she’s a senior.
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