Be clear and specific about outcomes. Often, they may act like they are willing to do anything. If this is the case, then hold them accountable.
Document any manipulation. Look for trends (with certain colleagues or situations). Keep a log of what was said because they often will say one thing and then later assure you that they never said it.
You may have to take a firm stance with the manipulator, and let them know that disciplinary actions (or some consequences) will be taken. While your firm may not have a policy about dealing with manipulators, it may have a policy for dealing with insubordination and challenging authority.
When you first start defending yourself against a manipulator, they'll try harder to control you. Remember this and stay firm, don't get defensive and don't take the bait if they push you.
Finally, sometimes the best thing to do (for your own sanity) is to walk away from the person.
Russell is the vice dean and the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. She is a licensed industrial and organizational psychologist and has more than 25 years of experience coaching executives and consulting on leadership and career management.