Who They Are: Conflict junkies are a combination of all the other types described, grafted1
into the most toxic2
and hostile contagion3
to ever poison the workplace. If Ebola was a personality type, it would be a conflict junkie.
How to Identify Them: They are the pathological bullies4
even the most well-intentioned staff; the combative6
co-workers everyone has a horror story about; the rebellious7
employees so caustic9
, they send their superiors into septic shock. They are completely resistant10
What to Watch Out For: Like moles11
, conflict junkies may initially12
appear submissive, but this is a ploy8
that lasts only until they have adjusted to a new situation. Like pretenders, once acclimated13
, they become agents of disruption. CJ's go beyond the tactics used by directors to gain control, pitting colleagues against one another, sabotaging14
projects, undermining their superiors, withholding15
information to create conflict and misrepresenting situations to HR. Like panhandlers and headliners, they will go out of their way to feed their egos16
. The difference? They act with no concern for consequence, even when it threatens their own careers.
How to Protect Yourself: Handling conflict junkies is more than a one-person job. Take advantage of your organization's policies, regulations and stated values. Leverage17
all penalties available, even those that require legal action, if needed. Report their conduct to HR, and encourage others to do the same so that you can build a case for their termination. If they cannot conduct themselves rationally and respectfully, you should refuse to assist, comply with, respond to or even acknowledge them. If all else fails, consider asking to be reassigned or taking a new job.