Oppression & Intimidation

All managers will experience difficulties with work colleagues. At times those difficulties may be become acute and it is the same for a manager with AS.

The characteristics of Asperger syndrome and its disposition may lead however, to a greater likelihood of being subject to oppression behavior and intimidation. It may also mean vict
imization.
Prevention should be the first and foremost objective in such a situation. Central to this is, is giving no cause for provocation.

As outlined in the section Conflict, there are a number of facets associated with Asperger syndrome which may cause resentment and trigger a negative or confrontational response in others.

These include:

• Pronounced values, principles and integrity based on individual and internal perceptions;
• Dislike and disdain towards those who do not reflect and exude those values;
• Verbiage which may be provocative or inflammatory to others;
• An unwillingness to confront and address issues that are contentious.

Appreciation of these issues, and their potential to cause resentment and antagonism, need to be addressed to ensure that the actions of a manager with AS do not contribute in anyway to sparking interpersonal friction.

This is also important for dealing with conflict should the need arise. It is recommended therefore that this section be read alongside the Conflict equivalent.

There are, however, other factors inherent within the Asperger character spectrum which may also attract unwanted attention and contribute – unfairly – to oppressive and intimidating behavior from others.

Examples here may include:

• Introversion and reserved behavior;
• Awareness among others, and for someone with AS, of being different to those around them;
• As a result, the belief by a person with AS of being automatically to blame for any oppression and, therefore, of assuming the role of victim or martyr.

In a corporate context oppressive behavior, harassment or victimization may often be apparent for a variety of business related issues:

• Competition for influence and higher management positions;
• Competition for resources;
• Inter-departmental influence;
• Personal rivalries.

In its ultimate form, harassment and victimization can constitute bullying and there is evidence to suggest that people in professional and managerial roles are more likely to be subjected to bullying than any other type of employee.

The personal characteristics inherent within Asperger syndrome may make victimization a greater likelihood. When it occurs it can seriously impact on a managers’ effectiveness.

How can a manager with AS effectively counter any oppression and victimization?

Managing with Asperger Syndrome