In one corner of the corporate world, an employee might be having a difficult time working in a company with oppressive management, an arrogant boss or an incompetent team leader. While in another corner, there might be an employee who’s coping with a master manipulator in the workplace. 


That shows the fact that there will never be a foolproof workplace as there might either be weak management, a hideous boss, an inexperienced team leader or a canny office colleague. Not knowing the ways to withstand either of the said circumstances may put your productivity at stake. 


With that, help yourself out by learning these helpful ways that you can do when a master manipulator shows up in your workplace. Upon learning these tips one by one, you’ll be able to keep yourself out of the prying eyes of a Machiavellian.  

1. Bring your concerns to the higher-ups.

If a Machiavellian behaviour is affecting your productivity at work seriously, then you better bring your concerns to the higher-ups. Discussing the matter to your manager, team leader or boss might somehow mitigate the consequences of working with a master manipulator.


It’s because if the toxic behaviour of a master manipulator continues to lurk around the workplace, it won’t only affect your productivity at work but also the work culture. You only have to state the facts and how the master manipulator’s behaviour is affecting your productivity and willingness to work. 

2. Ask for the human resources department’s help. 

Aside from the higher-ups like bosses, team leaders or managers, you may also ask for the human resources department’s help. The human resources department can save you from the awkward nature in the workplace caused by the master manipulator. 


The HR services have a disciplinary process or procedure, which they can enforce once the master manipulator’s behaviour is seriously causing issues around the workplace. Under the HR services, there’s also the employee grievance, which tackles complaints, dissatisfaction, or concerns regarding their job, workplace or the manipulative coworker. 


It’s because one of the vital roles of the human resources department is to make the employees feel satisfied with their work, as well as to retain their productivity and willingness to work in the company. To spot a manipulative coworker, read these following red flags, which one of your coworkers might have: Watch Out! 5 Disturbing Tip-offs of a Manipulative and Two-faced Coworker.

3. Call it out: Don’t be an enabler of Machiavellian behaviour.

Another way to outsmart a master manipulator in the workplace is not to tolerate their toxic behaviour. Don’t hesitate to call it out privately or publicly to shut down the Machiavellian behaviour.   


If it’s your first time to witness the Machiavellian behaviour either at a meeting or lunch gathering, you may call it out privately. If the master manipulator shows the toxic behaviour towards the other employees, then it’s time to call it out publicly. 


For some, calling out toxicity in public may seem harsh. But, calling out a master manipulator in public won’t allow them to disown their actions but will also help you gain some allies.  

4. Hold your horses and don’t ever stoop down to their level.

No matter how toxic a master manipulator might be, hold your horses and maintain your focus. Don’t ever stoop down to his/her level as you’ll feed his/her ego and desire to manipulate more people. 


Pay more attention to your work goals, tasks, and personal development instead. Stay busy improving your skills so there would be no room to think about the master manipulator in the workplace.   

5. Don’t fall for their deceitful personality and precious words.

A master manipulator will do and say everything to lure you to his/her bait. Thus, don’t ever fall for their deceitful personality and flowery words.


A master manipulator often disguised with innocence and says promises that seem impossible. They’ll make you fall for their fake identity and shower you with overwhelming words of praises that might be a disguised joke. 


Almost all employees encounter a master manipulator in their workplace. While some are capable of outsmarting a toxic coworker, some are still unaware of the ways to face them. 


With that, help others outsmart a master manipulator by sharing this article on your social media feeds. 



Kath Ramirez took up journalism as her Bachelor’s Degree with library and information science on the side and now writes for HR Dept, an outsourced HR support provider based in Australia. After a busy working week, you’ll either see her binge-watch on Netflix, cuddling with her fur babies, bonding with her family or devouring her mom and sisters’ homemade goodies.