Bullying at work, in brief…
It’s national anti-bullying week – I’m just sad we need to have such a week.
I’ve worked with many people who've been bullied at work. And far too many sickies are taken by people who feel they need a break from it.
Here are a few ways that bullying manifests itself at work -
*Being ridiculed, teased or being made the butt of unwanted jokes in a way you find unpleasant. Bullies often mask their behaviour with barbed humour.
*Feeling excluded, not getting notices and messages you’re supposed to, etc. Your life can be made a misery when a bully who has power to exclude you, does so.
*Being gossiped about and knowing someone is stirring it up about you. Your intuition will often tell you this is going on yet it can be difficult to prove.
*Having unwanted, overly flirtatious behaviour and sexual innuendo made towards you. It’s not sexy when you don’t want this attention - this is bullying.
*On the receiving end of angry outbursts and temper tantrums. Bullying often is aggressive and this can range from a short sharp burst of swearing or a full tirade in your direction.
Six Steps to Tackle Bullying:
*Let’s hope this is a one-off. If it’s something you feel you can ignore like unnecessary teasing - which means it never happens again - then ignore it. Obviously some behaviour, even as a “one-off”, shouldn’t be ignored.
*If it happens again set your boundaries immediately and don’t fall victim to feeling you can’t say anything. You can and must say something like: I don’t find that funny, please don’t speak to me like that, or don’t include me in your jokes, etc.
*Be clear with what you say and keep calm and confident while spelling-out what the person’s doing that upsets you. The more clarity you bring to the situation the less chance it’ll become a drama that adds to your misery.
*Keep a record of the bullying including dates, times and any potential witnesses there are to the incident/incidents.
*If their behaviour persists, let them know you’re going to HR and then do it. Don’t make empty threats. Your HR is obliged to have a policy in place to help you out.
*Never suffer in silence - you deserve to be treated with respect. Even if at this point you’re not ready to take action against the bully you must get support from friends and family. With their help you’ll feel able to go to HR.