Either way, these are toxic employees who inflict harm on your staff and your company. Bullying itself may be considered workplace violence, due to psychological scars left on its victims. Left unchallenged, bullies may even trigger workplace violence from the person being bullied or escalate their bad behavior into violence themselves. Young workers, women and LGBT employees report the highest rates of bullying. Survey responders said these were the most common ways they were bullied:. Bullying can be a legal liability for your business if comments or gossip are about race, gender, age, disability or sexual orientation — since this can be considered harassment.
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Many states have enacted workplace anti-bullying legislation , but no federal law directly addresses this issue. However, the line between bullying and harassment can be murky, so managing bullies is not only important for morale in the workplace — it also helps to ensure no legal lines are crossed. Bullies are among the worst types of toxic employees , due to the damage they inflict through lost productivity, turnover and low morale. Do you recognize any of these types of behaviors among your staff? It may be hard to believe, but the screaming insulter is still alive and well in some workplaces.
While the archetypical yeller is a boss who manages by fear, the blatant bully can be anyone in the workplace. They want their way.
Passive-aggressive bullies leave you wondering if you were just given praise or taken down a peg. To your employees, this can feel like sabotage. Some people simply function in a very direct manner. These people may be perceived as bullies. They may not even know how they come across to others.
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Direct people are quick, aggressive and unfiltered, which, over time, can seem like bullying. The reasons behind their behavior could run the gamut. It may result from a need to make themselves feel good, or because they need to feel in control. Their bullying tactics may also stem from a desire to promote their own career.
Weak managers, for example, will sometimes resort to management by fear , which can make them bullies. If their way of trying to motivate employees includes intimidation or scare tactics, employees may feel picked on. Other bullies may unconsciously pick on those they perceive to be weak. Dealing with a workplace bully can be a delicate situation. Some employees may take it upon themselves to deal directly with the offender , telling them how their words or actions affect their work.
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However, because intimidation may be at the root of the bullying, some employees may not feel they can talk directly to the bully, especially if the person outranks them. If your company provides an EAP program, they may also want to refer to it for tips on dealing with difficult employees. The manager should talk separately with the offender and the victims to determine what has transpired.
The bully is looking for your reaction. Find a way to stay calm and work on your game face. Try to stay calm in the face of bullying. Start documenting. Write down what happened and when, Barnes says. Keep detailed accounts of the circumstances, exactly what was said, and who, if anyone, heard or saw it. Turn the tables. Often, the bully has nothing constructive to add and will back off, she says. Find a champion. Your company may have a formal human resources process for dealing with bullies. The bully could be damaging your reputation behind your back. By Gwen Moran 3 minute Read.
5 Common Workplace Bullies (And How To Deal With Them)
These are: 1 affirming your worth, 2 visualizing protection, and 3 healing your past and present trauma. Letting go of resentments in the face of bullying or mobbing may feel counter intuitive at first. Resentment and rage could feel like sources of strength. And, these negative emotions are perfectly natural responses to being abused.
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Why should I let go? How could I possibly forgive them? But for me and for my clients, harboring ongoing negative feelings can make us sick and keep us stuck. My personal wake-up call came one day at my toxic workplace when I was filled with bitterness and powerlessness in the face of continuing verbal assaults, lies, and blatantly unjust treatment. On that day, as I walked out of my office and turned the corner into the lobby, I was overwhelmed with rage and hate toward everyone I saw. I scared and shocked myself with the intensity of these feelings!
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