You hold the power, right now, to manage these bellicose sophomoric human bulldozers.
How YOU choose to deal with an office Bully is the key to shutting them down.
The sad truth is bullying exists in the workplace – plain and simple. We have both worked for companies that do a respectable job of shutting down the office tormentors and we have worked for firms that turned a blind eye.
Nothing makes us more furious than seeing co-workers – good people – pushed around for no reason other than they are really good at their jobs. It is always sadly alarming how “professionals” can stoop to such juvenile tactics.
The Bully, the Tormentors, the Plague
A single person is a Bully, a few together are what we call the Tormentors and when the office culture shifts to “Bully as the norm” – this is the Plague.
The office Bully is a walking nightmare; they are disruptive, aggressive and methodical in their repetitive approach. Repetition is the easiest way to identify the bully. They scope their targets and plan their verbal assaults thoughtfully and with malice.
The Bully’s behavior resembles that of a petulant child. Unable or unwilling to access their pre-frontal cortex, the Bully relies on intimidation to get their way.
The Tormentors are a group that follows the lead of a Bully. Similar to the classic schoolyard bullying scenes, the Bully leads the charge and their minions follow suit.
The Plague is often validated, perpetuated or simply blessed by management. The leaders of the company are usually the worst offenders.
It doesn’t sound possible but these horrifying business environments do exist. After all, if your C Suite is setting the example that bullying is accepted, then a dangerous and dysfunctional office culture is what you get.
You have the power to shut them down
Whether you are dealing with one isolated Bully or the sad extreme of the Plague – there is hope and you hold the key!
- The Bully’s number one goal is to get you emotional. Do not react! The more you react the more power you give them. We know this is really hard to do, especially when they are insulting you. Look them in the eye, smile and walk away. Then talk with a trusted coworker with whom you can vent in private. You’re gaining control.
- Do not reciprocate. As good as it would feel to serve up some back handed compliment—don’t do it. Do NOT take a swing at a pitch in the dirt. Do not lower yourself to their level.You’re rising above it and demonstrating your professionalism.
- Feel flattered and really good about yourself! Workplace Bullies plan their attacks on coworkers who are the best and brightest and typically the rising stars. It is their goal to drive out anyone they see as a threat to their career advancement. Bullies attack those they most fear. You understand their insecurities and are one step ahead of them.
- Set boundaries with these jokers. See our post on Setting professional fences for ideas on how to establish boundaries with them. You’re re-writing the rules to their game – and now have the upper hand.
And most importantly – know what you can control and what you cannot control. There is no amount of conversation, counseling nor electroshock therapy that will help these workplace aggressors. You cannot control what a bully does or the terrible things they say, but you can control how you respond to it.
Look at the bully with a different mindset, take stock that you have the power to manage them, build a strategy to shut them down and execute it – you can do it!
Bridging The Performance Management Gap With Career Pathing
Motivation and an Open Mind are Essential to Become a Great Entrepreneur
The FinCommunications Story: What’s Yours?
Marketing to Young Professionals and Athletes
Making the Distinction Between Gambling and Investing
Is Deferred Compensation Holding You Captive?
How to Start Your Journey to Be Different
The Question ‘Why’ Expands Your Opportunity
What If Magic Was Part Of Your Strategy?
Apple Has Painted Themselves Into an iPhone Corner
Explore Investment Insights10 hours ago
The Future of E-Commerce and Retail Will Be Written in China
Leadership10 hours ago
The Most Effective Way to Influence Others
Financial Podcasts10 hours ago
Become the Master of Your Own Time
Investing in Life1 day ago
Storyselling: Six Magic Words Guaranteed to Engage Your Clients
Development1 day ago
How to Offer More to Your Ideal Clients
Solutions1 day ago
Top 4 Themes in Impact Investing Right Now
Investments2 days ago
Global Equity Views 4Q 2018
Development2 days ago
How To Deliver Value During Prospect Engagement