They are hard to spot. They are the ones who look good, sound good and are bound to make you think you are crazy in a very short time.

Do you know someone who offers to help with one hand and then pushes you away with the other? Or maybe someone who brings all the goodies to work, the sugar free donuts for example and then tells you they are being saved for a special invite only group at lunch?

If you ever met such a character, you have had the pleasure of being in the web of a splitter. Splitters give the most mixed of mixed messages. Example: You say “Hi, how are you?” and you get a ten minute monologue about the woes of the day. Then as you walk away, late for a meeting, they slide in a comment about how because they were talking with you they most likely wont get their next project done on time.

Mixed messages, no-win situations are the norm in the world of the splitter. And of course they will tell you about how others are frustrated with your behavior and when you get annoyed, well just wait a minute or two and they will run to others to tell them how upset you are with them.

It’s enough to make you gag!

Splitters are the most crafty, the most clever, and the moist difficult to detect at work. They can spoil an entire office environment. They are the ones that prove “one rotten apple can spoil the barrel.

Splitters are always your BFF. They will tell you how they “have your back and will be there for you when the going gets tough. They will report any gossip or let you know if there is a storm looming on the horizon. Yet it if you do have a problem they are no where to be found to check and make sure that what they told you was correct.

It’s enough to make you gag!

Splitters often come from families where there was excessive stress and the blame game was played by everyone, parents, siblings and all others who were near the home. It was never safe. The splitter learned that safety means divide and conquer. They are masters at playing both sides. Actually, many splitters would make great CIA agents of James Bond caliber.

Here is the bad news. Splitters rarely change. They are the most devious of all the patterns I write about in “Don’t Bring It to Work”. Once their cover is blown and they cannot keep up their underhanded ways if you are lucky they will quit in a huff. Otherwise, you best go to HR or to your boss or is you are the boss find the fastest way to “unhire” them for your own sanity.

Author's Bio: 

Sylvia Lafair, PhD, a business leadership and communications expert, and President of CEO – Creative Energy Options, Inc., a global consulting company focused on redefining leadership and optimizing workplace relationships. Dr. Lafair’s talents to make the complex simple, has revolutionized the way employees cooperate and teams collaborate.

Her award winning book “Don’t Bring It to Work” (Jossey Bass) has been ranked in the top of Amazon’s Best Selling Workplace books. She was a contributing author for the acclaimed book, “Working Together”. She is often quoted as a workplace relationship expert in newspapers and magazines across the country, including the Wall Street Journal,, USA Today, Time, New York Times, as well as being on radio, webinars, television, and presenting at national conferences. She has two business blogs and contribute to many national leadership blogs.

She was recognized as one of the Top 25 Women In Business in 2011 and is an active member in EWomen Network, ISN (International Speakers Network), NAPW (National Association of Professional Women), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and NAFE (National Association for Female Executives).

CEO’s flagship program, Total Leadership Connections™ utilizes the tools of PatternAware™ Leadership to help individuals understand how behavior patterns can derail success and how to transform them into productivity, purpose, and profit.

As an executive coach and leadership educator, she has 30+ years of experience with all levels of management from corporate officers of global companies to executives of non-profits, owners of leading family-owned businesses, and entrepreneurs. She holds a doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

As a workshop leader or keynote speaker, Sylvia engages audiences with her natural storytelling ability. Her quick-witted humor, charisma, and energy are infectious and her knowledge gives substance and depth to all presentations. Her thought-provoking messages leave audiences with information to take back to the office and immediately put into practice.