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How Do You Handle A Workplace Bully?

When it comes to bullying in the workplace, there is no quick fix that is immediately available, but there are a few actions that can put a stop to this type of behavior. Because bullying is a form of violence in the workplace, employers might want to create an all-encompassing policy covering the gamut of incidents (from intimidation and harassment to physical assault). If you are being bullied at work, or you know of anyone who is, review the work documents to determine the appropriate protocols for reporting this type of behavior.    

When behavior is unwarranted and hurts you or causes damage, then bullying exists in a workplace and should not be tolerated. It may be difficult to persuade the bully to stop, if there is not a policy in place at your company to address this type of behavior. Sometimes, speaking with the alleged bully directly, telling him or her that you are opposed to his or her bullying behaviors, and asking him or her to stop, may resolve the issue.    Show Source Texts

Bullies can humiliate you in person or public, by pointing out your mistakes, taking credit for your work, leaving you out of things, isolating you socially, or even making jokes about you, says Zundel. If the bully is a managers colleague or subordinate, you might want to sit down with him and try to make sense out of him, says Namie, who believes this sort of informal mentoring is more effective than formal complaints. Because intimidation can be the source of the bullying, some employees might feel like they cannot speak to the bully directly, particularly if the person is above them.   

If your supervisor is the one who is bullying you, or you feel unsafe talking directly with your supervisor, you may want to bring your concerns to someone higher up in the chain of command than they are, or go straight to Human Resources (HR). Workplace bullying can take a variety of forms; harassment, discrimination, slurs, and constant criticism are just some of the common actions that can make an employee feel intimidated and alone at work.   

In any case, bullying in the workplace increases stress on a job, taking enjoyment away from the job, regardless of your location. Workplace bullying may be work-related (extreme scrutiny of performance, assigning intolerable amounts of workload, or excessive mockery) or personality-related (gossip about someone, undercutting them, inflicting public humiliation or excessive criticism, and putting them on social limbo). Bullying is defined as repeated unfavorable treatment of one individual by another person or others at work, in what might be considered unwarranted and inappropriate workplace practices.  

Examples of bullying in the workplace environment could include being excluded from group meetings, co-workers threatening to replace you, the supervisor making jokes about one’s lifestyle or background, making insulting comments, either directly or indirectly, or providing inaccurate information and concealing correct information, all of which affects their ability to do their jobs. This belief that nobody should be placed in a situation that makes them afraid to go to work is pervasive, but taking the first steps toward confronting bullying may be the hardest. In this guide, we explore the steps that employees and employers alike can take to rise above and eradicate the culture of bullying. 

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