Nobody wants to be a Persecutor (OK, I have met a couple, but in general I believe this to be a true statement)!
Recently I met with a client to debrief their Leadership Circle Profile (the most impactful 360-degree feedback tool that there is). Their feedback was a “classic” Persecutor pattern. They were perceived as highly controlling, critical, arrogant and autocratic – in particular from one group.
In talking through the feedback, it became clear that, though they did not disagree with the assessment, it was not how they intended to show up as a leader. And then an insight struck the client: “When I meet with them – which I have to do – I just want it to be over and to move through it as fast as possible.”
We then talked about how one need not say a word to be perceived as a Persecutor and to engage the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT). It could be a whole host of non-verbal cures: an icy stare; pursed lips; crossed arms – even silence. Or it can be verbal in the tone-of-voice; clipped or curt statements, etc. Whatever its form, the receiver(s) feel like a Victim in the way they are communicated with.
Being aware of our non-verbal, tone-of-voice and body language can help us avoid being seen as a Persecutor – without saying a word.