What is workplace bullying?

What is workplace bullying?
Highlights

Workplace bullying is harmful, targeted behaviour that happens at work.

Workplace bullying is harmful, targeted behaviour that happens at work. It might be spiteful, offensive, mocking, or intimidating. It forms a pattern, and it tends to be directed at one person or a few people.

Learn what a bully is and what a bully does

Just like their immature little brothers and sisters on the schoolyard, workplace bullies use same tools of intimidation and manipulation to bring you down.

Learning to recognise their behavior is the first step in putting a stop to it and getting back to work in a comfortable environment

A bully gains enjoyment from tormenting others. You might not always get along with everyone at work, but that doesn't mean you've got a bully on your hands any more than you're a bully yourself. Distinguish between the two by recognizing this trait--does this person seem to make special effort in messing with you, tripping you up, or bringing you down? Do they seem to enjoy it? If the answer is yes, this might suggest a bully.

Recognise bullying behaviours

Watch for the sure signs of a bully that signify more than a simple misunderstanding or personal disagreement. Workplace bullying might include

♦ Shouting, whether in private, in front of colleagues, or in front of customers

♦ Name-calling

♦ Belittling or disrespectful comments

♦ Excessive monitoring, criticizing, or nitpicking someone's work

♦ Deliberately overloading someone with work

♦ Undermining someone's work by setting them up to fail

♦ Purposefully withholding information needed to perform a job efficiently

♦ Actively excluding someone from normal workplace/staff room conversations and making someone feel unwelcome

Pay attention to signs outside of work that suggest you're a victim of bullying

You might be suffering from bullying if you suffer at home in the following ways

♦ You have trouble sleeping or struggle with nausea and vomiting because you're scared to go to work

♦ Your family gets frustrated because of how much you talk and obsess about work problems

♦ You spend days off worrying about going back to work

♦ Your doctor notices health problems like blood pressure and other stress concerns

♦ You feel guilty about having provoked your workplace troubles

Don't ignore the feeling that you're being bullied

If you feel singled out unfairly, or as if you're picked on a disproportionate amount, it can be tempting to come up with excuses.

Don't fall into a trap of self-loathing if you feel you're being bullied. Form a plan to stop the bullying and reclaim your workplace.

♦ Unlike schoolyard bullies, who tend to pick on victims they identify as alone or weak, workplace bullies typically pick on employees they consider threatening to their career. If your presence makes someone else look bad enough, they feel the need to take you down, take it as a twisted compliment. You're good at what you do. You know this. Don't let them confuse you.

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