07: Bosses & Bad Behavior

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Bad behavior is one of degrees. One of the most fascinating patterns of behavior is one that is universal to us all, from the children in the schoolyard to grown adults, we have all exhibited this conduct at some point in our lives whether we were aware of it or not. It happens during the testing and negotiating of our boundaries, or what behavior we will accept in our relationships.

What is it?

It is the Extinction-burst behavior.

This shows up as a challenge, through rebellious behavior, to a set ‘rule’ and will escalate in intensity until it bursts and extinguishes from there. It can be displayed as pouting, a tantrum, arguing over the ‘fairness’ of a boundary, all the way to an undisguised challenge and open hostility against the rule or boundary.

Think of a child challenging bedtime, he may start with complaining and continue the escalation of the rebellious behavior until the consequences outweigh the perceived ‘benefit’ of staying up later, or until that child realizes that Momma don’t take no mess and will not tolerate the tantrum.

In adults’, extinction-bursts can start as a subtle form of boundary-creep (or slow eroding away at a set rule or boundary) and escalate to excuses, blaming, and blame-shifting, all the way too passive-aggressive or overt aggressive behavior. But just like that child’s challenge of bedtime, the behavior must be met with swift, firm and fair consequences and a reaffirmation of your boundaries and expectations.

Today we will look at how Jada, the owner, and operator of a financial service company, dealt with an extinction-bust behavior displayed by one of her longtime employees

What you’ll hear in this podcast:

  • Why smaller teams and those who work in close quarters often blur or overlap their personal and professional relationships
  • How one person’s bad attitude, poor behavior, or taking advantage of their position can infect the WHOLE team
  • Why the slow-moving boundary-creep of bad behavior can be more difficult to spot among friends, and close team members
  • How to spot when the line from ‘understanding + support’ changes to being taken advantage of
  • All of our relationships have different levels of intimacy
  • Our home life impacts our work life, and our work life impacts our home life
  • Being able to set-aside or separate from difficult situations and just “leave it at the office”, is a practiced and learned skill that takes time, and a certain personality, and it is not always possible
  • That material boundaries involve the care of your work product, time or services
    • Boundaries are not firm immovable lines, they are fluid
    • Our boundaries are different in our personal and professional lives
    • Why it is hard to know when you should re-affirm a boundary
  • What Extinction-bust behavior is and how it shows up
    • How this extinction-burst behavior is present in all people
    • What the subtler form of extinction-bursts looks like, often starting out as blaming and escalating to passive aggressive or overtly aggressive challenges
    • That often, those who are displaying this behavior, are not aware that that is what they are doing
    • Often start
  • Change is difficult for many
    • When change is unwanted or unexpected it is much harder to deal with and may be rejected
  • Consequences are neutral, they just are, they are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’
    • Natural consequences are inevitable results from an action
    • You may like the natural consequences or you may not
    • Protecting someone from experiencing natural consequences robs them of their power
    • Consequences should not be avoided, when you do, it often makes the outcome more severe or intense


06: Bosses and Boundaries


“Why are you putting me in the position of punishing you”

“Drawing your boundaries does not mean you are taking away from others”

“Consequences aren’t good or bad, they are neutral”

Show Intro music is Whispering Through by Asura


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