Dealing With A Bully in the WorkplaceMany of us encountered or were affected by a bully during our formative years in grade school. We figured that after 8th or 9th grade that the bully would grow out of his or her need to intimidate unsuspecting victims. The sad fact is that bullying in many cases does not cease in grade school, but is oftentimes found in the workplace today among adults. Unlike playground bullies who often times resorted to using their fists, workplace bullies generally use harassment; words and actions to intimidate and hurt their victims.

Bullying, sometimes called "the silent epidemic" in the workplace is not to be taken lightly. The effects of bullying on an individual can be devastating, leaving lasting scars, causing serious professional consequences, as well as a
range of physical and psychological health problems for its victims. The following steps will help you recognize a bully in the workplace and what you should do if you or someone else has become the victim.

Things You Will Need

Confidence and Courage to do something about the bullying harassment

Step 1


* When someone's behavior intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates another, possibly in front of other co-workers, clients or customers, this is a sign of bullying.

* When a person repeatedly uses verbal abuse or shows aggressive behavior towards another, this is a sign of bullying.

* When someone threatens another's work status, undermining his/her standard of work, not giving credit where credit is due, purposely setting up projects to fail and constantly reminding of mistakes, this is a sign of bullying.

* When someone withholds necessary information or purposefully gives the wrong information to another, this is a sign of bullying.

* When someone threatens another's personal standing (e.g. ageist sexist or ethnic comments).

* When someone is giving impossible deadlines, overworking and creating undue pressures upon another, this is a sign of bullying.

* When someone is isolating another individual from information, opportunities, and outings, this is a sign of bullying.

Step 2


* Recognize that you are being bullied, and realize that you are not the source of the problem. When someone is doing his or her best to be negative and demean you, stay positive, reminding yourself that you are a valuable person with much to offer.

* Check out your workplace hand-book or corporate policies to see if bullying is or has been addressed.

* Seek the advice of a supervisor, HR representative or trusted mentor who may have dealt with this type of situation before.

* Ignoring the bully may be helpful. Bullies are looking for a reaction from you and often lose interest if they aren't given the satisfaction of getting one.

* Act more confident. If a person who bullies feels that they don't have any power over you, it takes the 'fun' out of it for them.

* With confidence, confront the bully in a professional manner. Stay as calm as possible, firmly telling them to leave you alone. You may want to ask a supervisor to be with you when confronting the bully.

* Hang around with other people, and don't let the bully alienate you from others.

* Keep a journal detailing the nature of the bullying (e.g., dates, times, places, what was said or done and who else was present as a witness).

* Obtain and keep copies of harassing/bullying paper trails; emails, faxes, phone messages and hold onto copies of documents that contradict the bully's accusations against you (e.g., time sheets, audit reports, etc.).

* If the bullying continues, present your case to the person in charge or to the HR department. There are also many websites that will give you more information as to what you can do and what your rights are, along with Employment Law Attorney site options.

Department Of Labor & Industries
Workplace Bullying Institute
Don't let a workplace bully intimidate you, jeopardize your job and tarnish your feelings of self-worth. Take the bull by the horns with confidence, know that it is not your fault, but that it is all about them and their problems. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT TO GET IT STOPPED.

Tips & Warnings