Difficult Personalities: The Scapegoater

Because she cannot accept the responsibility or take the blame for her own mistakes, A Scapegoater shifts the onus to others, especially when she is in negative moods. She seems to feel better seeing others squirm or get into trouble. Her favorite saying is, "I didn't do it, it so-and-so did."

Here's an example:

Marketing Department Manager: Jill, I need those sales figures to complete my new product analysis.

Scapegoater: You never told me about this before.

Marketing Department Manager: Check out the email I sent you last Friday.

Scapegoater: I never got it. Blame our server, not me.

Marketing Department Manager: This system shows that you received and saved the email.

Scapegoater: Oh, those figures. I told Bryan to do them. You mean he hasn't gotten them to you yet? What's wrong with that guy?

Marketing Department Manager: Hasn't Bryan been overseas working on the Beta account for the past month?

Scapegoater: Well ... (To herself: "Who can I blame now?")

The Solution
The Scapegoater will stop this behavior when you give her very specific examples of how her errors, mistakes or miscalculations were the problem. You cannot be vague with her. She finds it difficult to shift blame when you are specific.

Get tips for another difficult personality > >

Find your workplace nemesis from
14 personality descriptions.
Cope better with these 5 tips.

Excerpted from Managing Workplace Negativity by Gary Topchik, published by AMACOM Books

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