Workplace Violence – Seeing Through the Eyes of an Aggressive Employee

workplace violence and the aggressive employee

Are you worried about the likelihood of an aggressive employee (or recently terminated one) causing a workplace violence incident in your department or organization? I can understand your concern. With about 14 employees (most of these women and management level or higher) being murdered and another 38,500 assaulted on the job every week, the fact is that, violence in the workplace has become one of the greatest threats to personal safety in recent times. And, understanding how an aggressive employee sees you when contemplating an attack can make all the difference in how you make out when he or she decides to act.

In fact, understanding what I call “attacker-logic,” and the attack methodologies used by different assailant-types, is an important first-step in being able to defend against and survive an attack. Seeing through the eyes of your attacker, in this case an aggressive employee, and recognizing how he or she chooses targets, avoids those who can stop him or her and depersonalizes everything else, allows you to tailor your training to make sure that you have the advantage.

The truth is that self defense and dealing with a workplace violence attack is no different than troubleshooting any problem. When assessing a situation that requires action, you and everyone else involved, falls into one of 3 places in the scheme of things.

From a problem-solving mindset, you are either:

1) Part of the problem

2) Part of the solution, or…

3) Part of the landscape!

If you can step back and look at things through the eyes of an aggressive employee you can see that, from his perspective, you are either:

Contributing to his aggravation. You are seen as someone who plays a significant role in his experience and condition.

A balancing element. You either play a role as someone who helps to neutralize his negativity, or you are capable of preventing him from acting out on his thoughts of instigating violence in the workplace either, at you or in your presence. Or…

You are just a part of the overall experience. Regardless of whether or not he actually interacts with or knows you personally, in the mind of the aggressive employee, you fade into the landscape and are simply a part of the environment and another part of the company or group that has caused his pain, aggravation, or anger.

As you can see, the only safe place to be is as a “balancing element.” This is not to say that you should placate the negative people in your life. This is especially true if you are in a management or other supervisory position.

The point here is that, how you are viewed by an aggressive employee either contemplating or actually carrying out an act of workplace violence…
… determines how much danger you are in as an individual target.

You may not be able to do anything about how you aggravate someone – often this happens without our even knowing it. Also, you can’t know everyone, especially of you work for a large organization.

However, you absolutely CAN do something about the way you knowingly interact with everyone you come in contact with, and your ability to protect yourself should violence come at you. Remember, you may prefer to remain oblivious as to how you are perceived by others. But…
… a potential attacker looking for easy targets IS paying attention. And, if he looks in your direction, you will have to live, or not, with what he sees and decides to do with you!

Are you serious about getting the kind of prevention, response, and mitigation training that will allow you and your people to prevent, defend against, and survive an actual workplace violence act of aggression? If so, then download this free workplace violence info-graphic which outlines an “8-Phase Strategic Response & Training Model” which allows you to put proactive procedures and employee training programs in place to handle workplace violence, before, during, and after it occurs. Also, review the different ways that WCI Consulting can help you and your company here.

ethical self-defense and workplace violence expert Jeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTIJeffrey M. Miller SPS, DTI teaches individuals, companies, and organizations the critical, life-saving lessons needed to defend against and survive acts of violence in the workplace. If you are a C-Suite executive, administrative director, or business owner looking to make your department or organization as “attack-proof” as possible, then it’s time to speak with him about your project. Mr. Miller may be reached through his firm, WCI Consulting, at +1-570-884-1119.

Conference Organizers… Looking for a dynamic keynote speaker or breakout session presenter? Jeffrey Miller has presented to and for conferences and groups such as Geisinger, Stephen F. Austin University, and the Conference on Workplace Violence in the Medical Sector, among others. Contact him at the above number or via email at [email protected] to discuss your program goals, desired participant outcomes, and needs.