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Jul 06 2011

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Workplace Bullying

By Glenise Anderson, womensradio.com

Today I’m going to write about one of my pet hates: The Bully.

I find it extraordinary that in this day and age the issue is escalating rather than contracting. That we, as a society, are turning a blind eye rather than stepping in to help. And what’s even scarier is it could be due to fear of reprisal!

Gosh, I don’t know how many times I have heard about someone stepping in to help another and they’ve been hurt in the process. No wonder we are reluctant to step forward.

So, let’s not speak about the type of bully who may hurt us physically, let’s discuss the type who is verbal. You often find them in an office environment and they come in all shapes and sizes. They can be at any level in an organization and unfortunately, they could be either male or female.

The standard office bully is usually looking for attention. As they lack self confidence, they think that by picking on someone, it will make them look strong or smart. To a bully – any sort of attention is great. What goes on in their head to justify their muscle flexing? I’d ask but I’m really not that interested in getting to know one that well.

For someone who is confident, we see the bully for they are – sad and pathetic human beings. Unfortunately, however, bully’s don’t pick on confident people, they tend to pick on those who are more sensitive.

Perhaps the bright ones, gifted in academia or music or perhaps a little different in some way. Whoever they are, they’re the ones who are unlikely to stand up for themselves.

Of course, when you think about it, a bully isn’t going to pick on anyone who might stand up for themselves. Goodness, what happens if they got into some form of two way confrontation and the bully came off second best! That wouldn’t look to good for the bully at all. Oh no, they pick their targets well – not caring the damage they cause could last for years or even a lifetime.

Recently I heard someone speak about Bullying in the Workplace. He advised there were a few steps which should be followed when there’s an incident.

But before I go into them, let’s clarify just what Workplace Bullying is. It’s actually quite simple – as soon as any comment gets personal rather than task related – it’s classed as Bullying. There are other types of bullying as well, e.g. exclusion but let’s just stick to the common type.

If you are being bullied – you you possibly can, tell the person to stop! There are a couple of reasons for this. One it may actually work and two, as scary as the thought it, it gives you a little bit of your power back. Now, they may or may not stop, that’s out of your control.

After the incident, report it! Report it to your Management or HR department or whoever it is appropriate to report it to.

Both the incident and who you reported to must be documented in detail. Not only is this a good idea to get it off your chest and not have it building up like a volcano inside you, it gives you evidence to table at a later date, should it ever be needed.

So what can we, the common garden variety person, do to help out in a situation at work when someone is being bullied?

If you feel assertive enough, step in and ask the bully to stop. If you are unable to do this, you must also report the incident and document it somewhere safe.

This is an issue which affects so many people and sometimes, sadly it leads to loss of life. We all need to step up where needed, to ensure this unacceptable behavior stops.

There is no doubt that bullying is a huge can of worms. It is dealt with in many different ways in countries all over the world. If you are being bullied, make sure you promptly look at the avenues which are open to you.

For everyone else, all I ask is, if you are in a position to assist, then please do.

   
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I thought I was going crazy but now understand what was happening… Will be reading it a few times more yet… I would recomend the book for sure. Thanking you so much for the book! Its given me strength again. - Geoff

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