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The Dirty Little Secret Corporate America Doesn’t Want Out

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Bullying is such an overwhelming issue in the workplace and in life. Every day there is a different story in the news about bullying in the schools, on the playground or on the bus. These stories are splashed all over the media. So, why haven’t we heard more about the proliferation of bullying in Corporate America? Even though the largest percentage of bullying today takes place in the workplace, no one wants to talk about it.

It’s the big secret corporations don’t want revealed. The number of workers bullied on the job is staggering. The incredibly sad part is; no one seems to want to do anything to address this crisis.  It’s one of the top five reasons that employees become disengaged in the workplace. Bullies come in all sizes and flavors, and many of us have unfortunately sampled at least one of them. Here are just a few of the type of bullies that flourish in the workplace.

The Intimidator

This bully thrives on using intimidating words and actions to make sure that their dislike of someone is both heard and felt.  They use the ‘perceived power’ of their role to justify their behavior.

The Sexist Pig

They revel in treating someone of the opposite sex as inferior. They make comments that are intended to demean an employee and lower their confidence level.

The Scab Picker

This is a person who can see that something is a sore spot for their target and uses that information to pick at the employee until they bleed. Like a laser beam, they focus in again and again on the same spot, ensuring that true healing can never take place.

The Screamer

These bullies are loud, obnoxious and abusive and have but one goal: to berate and humiliate other people in public. They thrive on the notion that others fear them.

The Two-Faced Snake in the Grass

This bully is someone who says one thing to your face and another behind your back.  They are the first to destroy your reputation, stab you in the back and take all the credit for the work they haven’t done.

It’s important to remember that if you have a bully boss that you are not a victim, but rather are a target.  While it’s not easy to overcome, here are some tips that employees can try if they find themselves working for a bully.

  • Approach your bullying problem like a daily task by being methodical in how you behave and perform on the job and make sure to document what’s going on.
  • Stay calm and unemotional at all times
  • Display self-esteem and show a positive attitude.  Don’t give your bully the satisfaction of seeing how this is affecting you.
  • Don’t let yourself get isolated from others in the workplace. Take a moment each and every day to find someone you haven’t recently talked to and make a connection.
  • Remain calm and quiet, which can throw a bully off their game. Yelling back is never the answer. During a bullying event, try and find a way to excuse yourself from the situation by citing another meeting or a need to use the restroom.
  • Create a ‘get out’ strategy because usually bullies won’t stop their behavior. It’s better for you to take control over your life than to rely on others to change.
     

As someone who lived through four bully bosses in her career, I eventually learned that these people were the ones with low self-esteem and confidence, not me! I love to now remind people that a bully is nothing more than a Big Ugly Loner Loser Yearning for attention.

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