Top Tips For Dealing With Workplace Bullying
Although bullying is a negative behavior that is often associated with school-aged children, some immature adults also do it in the workplace. In fact, studies indicate that as many as sixty million people in the U.S. are bullied each year, usually at the hands of their boss. Below are some tips that will help you respond to workplace bullying in a professional manner.
Where Does Bullying Come From?
Bullying is a form of social dominance behavior and is seen both among animals and humans. It comes in many forms, which can range from aggressive communication such as yelling or sending hateful emails to humiliating others by insulting them verbally. There are also bullies who manipulate their subordinates by withholding resources which sets them up for failure, and the meddler who operates behind the scenes, appearing to be one’s ally while actually sabotaging them behind their back. Regardless of the type of bullying one is subjected to, most people agree that it can cause tremendous stress and anguish. To end it for good, you’ll want to do the following:
Confront the Person Who Is Doing it
Speak up immediately and let them know that you believe you’re being mistreated, and explain why this is the case. Establish your boundaries and make suggestions on different ways to handle the dispute. Do not become emotional when doing this, and do not argue with them. Simply state your position and leave it at that.
Document and Record What’s Happening
If calmly confronting the bully doesn’t work, then it is time to begin documenting and recording the incidents. This is important because you don’t want to get into a situation where it is your word against theirs. You want witnesses if possible, and in cases of sexual harassment, having a recording of the suggestive comments or actions will go a long way. However, recording a conversation or footage without someone’s consent is not legally permissive in some states, so do your research beforehand.
Go Above Their Head
If you’re employed by a major corporation, there is a good chance that your boss has a boss. If their bullying behavior doesn’t stop, speaking to someone above them is a great way to end their behavior for good. Many established companies have specific policies for dealing with harassment and you will want to familiarize yourself with them.
Make Your Exit
Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where your boss has no superiors, and the buck stops with them. Or, they are part of a “good old boys” network where even if you do go above their head, nothing is done because they are part of an exclusive group. In this case, it is best to simply quit and find a new source of employment. You can either work for another company or start your own business.
No one should have to be subjected to bullying behavior, but it is important to never be quiet about it. Giving in to the bullying will only make it worse, so you’ll need to respond as soon as it happens. But getting angry and emotional is always counterproductive. The calmer you are, the better decisions you’ll make.