5 ways to deal with master manipulators

__________main 33333






If at first you don’t succeed,

Try, try, try again


Sylvia Lafair, Contributing Writer  May 27, 2015, 10:06am EDT

Master manipulators are cagey. They don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. They smile and talk the talk of emotional intelligence and yet, what is on their sleeves are knives and hammers, and small vials of poison.

In my career as a consultant, I’ve come across numerous types of destructive workplace behavior, but none are quite as devastating as the effects of a master manipulator.

Here’s a story from one company that I advised, and although the names have been changed, the tale is true — and unfortunately, all too common.

“Ted” is a master manipulator. Or at least that is what everyone is finally saying. However, when he first came to the company, he was seen as a hero, a superman, a brilliant strategist.

His best strategy, now that the air is clearing, was to make sure that anyone who had close ties to “Danielle” the entrepreneur — who started a highly successful clothing company — would soon be led to the exit and the door would be locked behind them.

Master manipulators are cagey. They don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves. They smile and talk the talk of emotional intelligence and yet, what is on their sleeves are knives and hammers, and small vials of poison.

Ted was great at clean up. He was known for his brilliance in saving several companies on the brink of bankruptcy. He had always been smart enough to have iron-clad contracts that gave him big bucks for his hard work. He was also smart enough to leave prior companies when his skill and talent as a turnaround artist were no longer needed.

Setting his sights

Ted wanted control of Danielle’s company. He did not want to go anywhere else. He had, he told his wife, found his home. He loved the possibilities to make this into a billion-dollar organization in only a few more years, and then it would be smooth sailing into the twilight of retirement.

Ted only knew one way. He was a slice-em-and-dice-em kinda guy. He was a splitter who knew how to use rumor and innuendo to create rifts. He knew how to humiliate those he wanted gone and compliment those he wanted to control.

Ted knew there were only two types of individuals he had to contend with at work: those who followed his orders and those who had to leave.

After five years, he thought he had everything handled. He had his perfect leadership team, skilled and talented and living on automatic. Most of the ones who could think for themselves and challenge either quit out of desperation or were fired for whatever reason was acceptable to HR.

Fate steps in

Then Danielle was diagnosed with cancer. It was caught early, and with chemo and radiation, the prognosis looked good. Yet, the wake-up call of a major illness broke the spell Danielle had lived with for half a decade.

She was determined to look at the legacy she would leave behind, just in case the cancer proved more potent than the medical community thought.

Ted’s old model of conquer and control leadership began to backfire. Danielle had depended on Ted. He was her business hero. Yet now she started to ask questions and those who had been under his spell began to speak out. Once questions are asked, and once fear is banished, splitters and manipulators lose their steam.

Last battle

Splitters thrive on misunderstandings, unresolved conflicts, stress, frustration and gossip. Ted desperately defended, explained and justified his position and his decisions.

Yesterday was Ted’s last day at the company. No party, no sadness, no tears. Instead, everyone was smiling and singing, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” and Danielle, now stronger than ever after the cancer, wore ruby-red slippers as she walked into offices and open spaces to talk about the dawn of a new, splitter-free era.

Lessons for your company

What can you learn from the story of Ted and Danielle? Here are five lessons to consider when dealing with a manipulator and splitter:

  1. Trust your intuition: If it feels like splitting and manipulation, it is.
  2. Ask deeper questions: Do not just accept the surface reasons why someone should leave. Never give up being part of the process.
  3. Have a team approach: Rather than merely letting one person take charge, have a core team to discuss what is happening.
  4. Create progress reviews: This is not just about the fiscal bottom line, include the emotional climate that is being created.
  5. Challenge the goals: Make sure strategy is long range and inclusive, not just the desires of one individual

Sylvia Lafair is president of Creative Energy Options, a global consulting firm. Her focus on people skills takes her to companies such as Novartis, McGraw Hill, Microsoft, family firms, and entrepreneurial companies where she helps develop solid teams and heighten productivity. Her Total Leadership Connections program has been named one of the top leadership programs by H.R.com. Her books include “Gutsy: How Women Leaders Make Change” and “Unique: How Story Sparks Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement.”






Phoenix Commercial Real Estate and Investment Real Estate: investors and Owner / Users need to really know the market today before making a move in Commercial Properties or Investment Properties in Phoenix / Tucson / Arizona, as the market has a lot of moving parts today. What is going on socio-economically, what is going on demographically, what is going on with location, with competing businesses, with public policy in general — all of these things affect the quality of selling or purchasing your Commercial Properties, Commercial Investment Properties and Commercial and large tracts of Residential Land in Phoenix / Tucson / Arizona.  Therefore, you need a broker, a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) who is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry and who understands Commercial Properties and Investment Properties.

I am marketing my listings on Costar, Loop-net CCIM, Kasten Long Commercial Group.  I also sold  hundreds millions of dollars’ worth of  Investment Properties / Owner User Properties in Retail, Office Industrial, Multi-family and Land in Arizona and therefore I am working with  brokers, Investors and Developers. I am also a CCIM and through this origination ( www.ccim.com ) I have access to marketing not only in the United States, but also international.  Click here to find out what is a CCIM:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CCIM


I am actively looking to build relationships with Real Estate Investors and Owner  Users  for  Retail / Industrial / Office / Multifamily and Land  in  Phoenix  –  Scottsdale   –  Tucson   –  Arizona



Are you ready to sell your Commercial Building in Phoenix  –  Maricopa County , please call me.




Why Phoenix?



Click here to find Reasons to Consider me for Commercial Referrals



Click here to View My Listings and Profile



Click here to find out what is a CCIM:



Click here to view my website:



Interactive Map Of All 10+ Unit Apartment Listings in Metro Phoenix



Interactive  Metro Phoenix Map of New Apartment Construction by Completion Status



Click here:




Apartment  Vacancy Rates – Greater Phoenix Area – 50+ Units (Stabilized) 2013, 2014, & 2015



Click her to join my mailing list :      


Walter Unger CCIM –  walterunger@ccim.net   – 1-520-975-5207  –  http://walter-unger.com

2016 Official Arizona Visitors Guide

Visit Arizona


 check it out




Timeline of Phoenix, Arizona history




Phoenix, Arizona





Facts of Arizona – year 1848 to 2013


Feel free to contact Walter regarding any of these stories, the current market, distressed commercial real estate opportunities and needs, your property or your Investment Needs for Comercial Properties in Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona.


walterunger@ccim.net 1-520-975-5207

Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn.


Follow me on Facebook:



Follow me on Twitter:


Follow Me on Google+



Kasten Long Commercial Group tracks all advertised apartment communities, including those advertised by other brokerages.  The interactive map  shows the location of each community (10+ units) and each location is color coded by the size (number of total units). 

Click here for Map of Apartments for Sale (10+units)



Walter Unger CCIM, CCSS, CCLS

I am a successful Commercial / Investment Real Estate Broker in Arizona now for 20 years.  If you have any questions about Commercial / Investment Properties in Phoenix or Commercial /  Investment Properties in Arizona,  I will gladly sit down with you and share my expertise and my professional opinion with you. I am also in this to make money therefore it will be a win-win situation for all of us. 


Please reply by e-mail walterunger@ccim.net or call me on my cell 520-975-5207




Walter Unger CCIM

Senior Associate Broker 

Kasten Long Commercial Group

2821 E. Camelback Rd. Suite 600

Phoenix , AZ 85016

Direct:    520-975-5207   

Fax:       602-865-7461




View My Listings and Profile

Join My Mailing List

What is a CCIM?

Reasons to Consider me for Commercial Referrals



Delivering the New Standard of Excellence in Commercial Real Estate 

  • Commercial Real Estate Scottsdale
  • Commercial Real Estate Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Arizona
  • Commercial Investment Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Investment Properties Scottsdale
  • Commercial Investment Properties Arizona
  • Land Specialist Arizona
  • Arizona Land Specialist
  • Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Phoenix Land Specialist
  • Land For Sale Phoenix
  • Land for sale Arizona
  • Commercial Properties For Sale Phoenix
  • Commercial Real Estate Sales Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Phoenix
  • Commercial Properties Arizona
  • Commercial Land Specialist Phoenix
  • Commercial Land Phoenix
  • Multifamily land Phoenix
  • Retail Land Phoenix
  • Industrial Land Phoenix
  • Land Commercial Phoenix
  • Land Retail Phoenix
  • Land Industrial Phoenix
  • Land Multifamily Phoenix
  • Industrial Land for sale Phoenix
  • Land Industrial
  • P
  • Investment Real Estate


Disclaimer of Liability

The information in this blog-newsletter is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided “as is,” with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.