Workplace Bullying – Beat the Bully

Bullying isn’t just found in the playground. It happens in the workplace too. The working environment is very tough at the moment but the board still expect objectives to be achieved even if the headcount or other resources have been reduced. This puts extra pressure on people and bullying is often the result of that pressure.

Bullies aren’t always in senior positions; they can be found at any level in a company. Sometimes people don’t realise their behaviour is bullying. Sometimes they do and that encourages them. If you are being bullied, or know someone who is, here are some tips to help you.

Top tips for beating the bullies

Keep a log. As soon as you realise you are being bullied, keep a diary to record all the details. Keep emails and a note of incidents.

Setting boundaries. It is hard but as soon as you encounter unacceptable behaviour try to put an end to it immediately. By allowing a bully to continue you set a dangerous precedent and it becomes more difficult to stop it.

Give as good as you get. The workplace bully thrives off your fear of confronting them. A small word in a public place may actually put an end to your workplace nightmare.

Maintain your relationships with other team members. Just because one person in the office is being unpleasant make sure it doesn’t jeopardise your relationship with other colleagues. Continue to go to lunch or after work drinks with them. Failing to do so will isolate you.

Escalate the issue. A bully will normally pick on many team members. You need to flag your concerns to a senior colleague to find out if the bully has a history of this kind of behaviour.

Get support. If you are a member of a trade union, it will be an important support mechanism throughout this process. You may be able to go and see your HR team if you have one or some businesses have an Employee Assistance Programme in place and this may be a great sounding board for you.

Keep a wider perspective. Make sure you have other things to look forward to outside work. Do not allow bullying to take over your life. Continue with your hobbies and your confidence will receive a much needed boost.

So bullying isn’t just found in the playground, sadly in the workplace too. By following the top tips above hopefully this article will help stop any bullying situation you may be in.

About the Author: Alyson Pellowe is Managing Consultant of People Vision HR Consultants. She has extensive experience in Human Resources and Training and has a team of HR Consultants who work with her with their own HR specialities.

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