by George K. Simon Jr.

 This book focuses on explaining and exploring covert aggressive behaviour. 

Workplace conflict is on the rise according a CIPD research survey[1] in which employers confirm that the “scale of workplace conflict is remarkable”.

Conflict is demonstrated by aggressive behaviour.  Openly aggressive behaviour is overt and tangible and is therefore easy to recognise and deal with.  Covert aggression, on the other hand, as it’s hidden or disguised, is intangible and therefore more difficult to spot and deal with.

So if you are aware of covert aggressive behaviour in your workplace or your life, and want strategies to recognise and manage it, then this book will greatly assist. 

The book is split into two parts.

Part 1 is ‘Understanding Manipulative Personalities’

There is an introduction entitled Covert Aggression – the Heart of Manipulation.

 Part 1 covers

Each chapter explores an aspect of covert aggressive behaviour.  For example in Chapter 2, ‘The Determination to Win’, the author makes the point that “the primary characteristic of covert aggressive personalities is that they value winning over everything… they use a variety of manipulative tactics, not only to get what they want, but also to avoid seeing themselves or being seen by others as the kind of people they really are”.   The author uses the story of Joe and Mary Blake to examine the tactics used by Joe, and his motivation for his behaviour.

In Chapter 4 ‘The Penchant for Deception and Seduction’, we meet ‘Smooth Operators’, people who tell you what you want to hear, and we are introduced to Al “who knows well how to charm and beguile anyone while retaining the capacity to cut out their hearts.”

Chapter 8 introduces us to the manipulative child, and we meet Amanda, The Tyrannical Child who is “a bully by any other name”.

Part 2 – ‘Dealing Effectively with Manipulative People’ is where the author suggests strategies to manage the behaviours examined in Part 1.

Part 2 covers

The author uses the case study examples of Part 1 to explore and identify ways of behaving with manipulative people.

When I read the book I recognized the behaviours I had encountered in both working and non working environments.  Some of the behaviours had impacted more greatly than others, and these were ones that I was keener to have strategies to use.

I bought this book to find strategies that would help me deal with a person whose manipulative behaviour was having a toxic impact on my life.  The persons behaviour was identified in one of the chapters of Part 1, and reading the book helped in several ways:-

This book is useful reading for anyone, especially useful if you are interacting with someone who is behaving manipulatively and want effective and practical strategies to use with them.

[1] CIPD Conflict Management Survey Report 2011

The book image links to Amazon*

© Krista Powell Edwards 2021

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