Disruptive Behaviors

What is disruptive behavior? Disruptive behavior is any inappropriate behavior, confrontation, or conflict, ranging from verbal abuse to any inappropriate action, whether physical or sexual. Disruptive behavior can cause strong psychological and emotional feelings that can challenge the safety of others and the community. Disruptive behavior amongst crewmembers can impact good crew resource management (CRM).  

What are examples of behaviors that can be disruptive? Disruptive behaviors can range from mild to “crossing the line”.  Sample behaviors that often precede “crossing the line include:

  • Displaying unpredictable moods.
  • Demonstrating an inflated sense of self-importance.
  • Perceiving attacks on one’s character/reputation not apparent to others and  reacting quickly with anger and counter attacks.
  • Displaying a sense of entitlement.
  • Showing rigidity and stubbornness.
  • Treating others with disrespect, rudeness and /or a lack of professionalism.
  • Being argumentative.
  • Actively defying or refusing to comply with requests or rules.
  • Often arriving late.
  • Blaming others for one’s mistakes.
  • Deliberately attempting to annoy others.
  • Deliberately intimidating others.
  • Engaging in revenge-seeking behaviors.
  • Frequently losing one’s temper with others.

Disruptive behaviors that “cross the line” of civility include:

  • Physical confrontations.
  • Use of profanity.
  • Condescending or disrespectful acts.
  • Intimidation.
  • Lack of sexual boundaries.
  • Discriminatory  remarks.

There are multiple means of maintaining civility within our workplace.  They offer support for effective teamwork, good communication and a safe work environment.  They include: 

  1. Respecting Others and Yourself: Treat everyone in the workplace with respect, regardless of their role, how well we know them, whether we agree/disagree with them, and whether we like them or not.
  2. Being Aware: Civility is a deliberate endeavor, requiring conscious awareness of oneself and others. Mindfulness and reflective practice enhances awareness.
  3. Communicate Effectively: Civil communication is more than what we say.  It includes how we say something. Being heard is more than just saying something one can understand.  It also includes creating a safe zone for hearing the message by not raising defenses or allowing others to feel judged or attacked.
  4. Take Good Care of Yourself: It’s hard to be civil when one is personally stressed, distressed, or ill.
  5. Be Responsible: Understand and accept personal accountability. Avoid shifting blame for your uncivil behavior.  Intervene when it is the right thing to do.


Your AFA EAP is here to help you address disruptive behavior.   While reporting such behavior to management is one option, that report may trigger an unwanted response or investigation (on even the reporter).

Control the Process! Control the Outcome! Give your AFA EAP Committee a call! Call EAP – 503.729.4439
International – 800-424-2406