There is a new breed of bullies emerging across the country and they are no longer only found on the playground or on the Internet. Approximately 37 percent of American workers say they have been mistreated while at work, leading to a disengaged and dissatisfied workforce. From verbal abuse to belittlement, workplace bullying takes on various forms. Some bullies may openly criticize their peers or subordinates and other times, the abuse can be far more subtle, such as disregarding exemplary work or manipulating tasks. Learn to combat workplace bullying using these four simple steps.
Recognize the signs
Examine the situation objectively. What behaviors or patterns is the bully exhibiting? Is the individual simply unpleasant and difficult to work with or is the hostility targeted towards one person? Make sure the signs are fairly clear and cannot simply be blamed on a misunderstanding or disagreement.
Take assertive action
Allowing the harassment to continue without consequence sends the message that this kind of behavior is acceptable, especially when the bully is abusing a position of power. Try to confront the bully without escalating their behavior. The trick is to remain professional while still setting firm limits and holding them accountable for their actions. Confront the inappropriate behavior quickly and privately.
Document the situation
Keep a detailed log regarding any and all interactions with the bully. Documentation will prove to be an excellent ally should the behavior progress in the future. And, be sure to
check company procedures and policies for guidance.
Discuss with supervisor/HR
Consult HR if needed since they are specifically trained to handle these types of complaints.
Present incriminating evidence and allow superiors to come to their own conclusions about a course of action. Keep the complaint clear and concise.