Bullying In The Workplace: Are You A Victim?
Since the dawn of time bullies have existed. Sometimes these people are just annoyances or nuances. Other times they have red hair and freckles and dunk people’s heads in toilets. Nevertheless, regardless of what the bully looks like, he or she exhibits the same type of behavior in regards to hampering the confidence and abilities of those around them. However, you may say to yourself that bullies are a thing of the past. You stood up to the schoolyard bully back in fourth grade and called it a day. You don’t need to deal with these immature people, you’re a college graduate heading for the workplace.
Well, you would be mistaken in assuming that your troubles are over. Bullies exist in the workplace and can make your life a living hell unless you are prepared to deal with them head on. Sometimes the bullying can be subtle. Someone keeps stealing your food or taking stuff off your desk without asking. Its small stuff but it’ll add up eventually and drive you nuts, making you feel like you’re under siege.
Bullying in the workplace can escalate however. Sometimes it can get to the point where it endangers your work performance. Maybe someone keeps laying the blame for office problems at your feet. This can seriously endanger your occupational safety if the boss thinks you’re the one screwing up. Bullying can also take the shape of physical violence, like a meathead jock picking on the A/V club.
Joking aside, physical bullying should be immediately reported to a supervisor. Workplaces do not tolerate physical assaults. Nevertheless, it can still be difficult to deal with more subtle types of bullying. It would be counterproductive to run to your boss right away if someone keeps stealing your lunch. It might make you look bad. Unless the situation is dangerous or hostile, try and resolve it on your own. It’ll make you look better in your boss’s eyes and earn you some respect in the bully’s.
Confront the person. Bullies are cowards, plain and simple. Talk to a representative from human resources to document the problem so that there is a paper trail. This will allow you to reference back to the situation should the offender keep up their antics. Draw attention to the situation as well. Consult other coworkers about the problem and find out if Bill Smith has a real mean streak to him that others have noticed. Group action can but an end to his reign of terror.
Standing up to a bully can be hard. Doing this in a workplace can be even more difficult. Remember to be professional and to use the processes of the office against him or her.
Have you been a victim of workplace bullying? Let everyone know how you dealt with the problem in the comment section below.