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Nobody likes a Bully!

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In today’s Reno Gazette Journal, there was an article titled “Bullies at work all too common.”  From cyber-bullies utilizing facebook and other social media to bullies at work, this seems to be a common topic lately.  This particular article really struck me as interesting because the article reports that 27% of people at work have reported being bullied.

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  • Of those 27% who were bullied, 47% actually confronted the bully (and 43% reported the bullying ended after confrontation)
  • 14% said their boss was the bully
  • 11% said their co-workers/peers were the bullies
  • 28% who reported their bullies to HR, more than 33% said measures were taken to resolve it (a low number if you ask me)
  • 15% of workers witnessed other workers being bullied

So what exactly is bullying?

Bullying, whether verbal or environmental, causes the worker to feel like the victim.  Some ways people feel like the bully are:

  • Being harshly criticized
  • Started and policies are applied differently to one person compared to others
  • Someone steals credit for work that they didn’t do
  • Belittling comments are made during work meetings about a worker
  • A boss yells at their staff in front of others

If this happens, how do I handle it?

The article provides tips on how to handle a situation where you may feel tormented or intimidated at work.  The tips are:

  1. Identify the problem – there is a difference between not liking a colleague and having clashing personality types versus feeling like an attacked victim.  Identify if the problem is bullying.
  2. Document the problem – “If you’re being bullied, you’re not the problem, the other person is.”  Don’t give in to what the other person is telling you.  Instead, focus on what you’re tasks are and document incidents in order to present a case to HR if need be.
  3. Know your options – The ideal situation would be so discuss the problem with the bully.  If this isn’t an option, consider reporting the bullying with someone who has the ability to intervene.
  4. Understand what you want to happen – Understand that leaving your job may be a possibility if the situation doesn’t get better.  Essentially, you need to do what will make you happy.

4 responses »

  1. Good post Ashley. Bullying is a pretty common problem at work. It can be very hard to address because sometimes standing up for ourselves may result in losing our jobs, which adds even more stress and sadness. But in the end, it’s much better to get out of a bad situation so that we can find something better!

    • Amber – you’re right, it’s very plausible to consider either losing a job or having to quit if things don’t start to get better after confrontation. It’s almost easier to just take it than to risk your job. Not easy, but still not acceptable.

  2. Sean Breslin

    I must admit that I found it shocking that only 14 percent of people said their boss was the bully. I’ve had more than one past boss who bullied me, which makes it an extremely uncomfortable environment to work. Love the blog!

    • Sean!! Thank you for the comment!! I was surprised at the low statistic as well – I thought it would be more but it also makes sense that co-workers bully as well. After all, aren’t we taught to do whatever we can to climb to the top?


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