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The Workplace Bully

The Workplace Bully

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Published by Martin Vika
The Total Bully Solution Is The Most Comprehensive, Practical And Effective Anti-bully System Ever Developed. It's Designed To Provide Fast Relief And Lasting Results. http://lnk.co/IMZ71
The Total Bully Solution Is The Most Comprehensive, Practical And Effective Anti-bully System Ever Developed. It's Designed To Provide Fast Relief And Lasting Results. http://lnk.co/IMZ71

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Published by: Martin Vika on Mar 03, 2012
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 ==== ====The Total Bully Solution.http://lnk.co/IMZ71 ==== ====The "Bully" and his/her victim has become a sad theme in the news lately. Movies have beenmade about them, "My Bodyguard" and "Drill Bit Taylor" to name just a couple. We have beenvictims and we have been bullies and we have been onlookers too. Sometimes laughing,sometimes feeling pity for the victim often times thinking; "better him than me" and some of ushave had the fortitude to stand up to a bully. The outcome going in any number of directions. I remember a grade school bully; Brian J. If Brian would have invested just a third of his timestudying instead of thinking of ways to make the rest of us miserable he would have likelygraduated before he was 21. Think "A Christmas Story" and the kid with the yellow eyes! Having been a victim a few times, I have no tolerance for bullies. Not in school, in public or atwork. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, the days of "stepping outside tosettle the matter" is long gone. The loser of such an encounter in today's lawsuit happyenvironment is likely to sue for all he or she can get from the victor, any onlookers and employersregardless of how the altercation came about or who insulted who or who shoved first. In today's work environment there are too many unknown variables. For instance, the guy or galwho is agitated at work; Are they upset because they are going through a divorce, they are havingfinancial troubles or did they murder their in-laws last week and have yet to figure out how todispose of the bodies? You just don't know who you're dealing with anymore. I am not a violent person by nature and have been pretty successful in my adult years at de-escalating potential volatile situations. This is especially true in my personal life. In my professionallife working in law enforcement, corrections and security related positions there were times that nomatter what I said or how I said it some people just took it all wrong! While the dialogue didn'talways work I still look at it as a learning experience, teaching me what NOT to say. Playground bullies grow up. They become adults and while some of them manage to change theirway of thinking in regard to interacting with the rest of the human race, some don't, they justchange tactics. Bullying behavior may seem like a minor issue when we have kids bringing guns,knives and drugs to school and it is often dismissed as part of growing up, but according statisticsof the National Crime Prevention Counsel one in four children who bully will have a criminal recordbefore the age of 30. Nowadays we have not only the typical adult bully, usually a "big feller" loud and obnoxious, butwe have bullies behind the wheel of their vehicle who think they own the road, we have bullies onthe internet and we have bullies at work. It's the workplace bullies that I want to talk about. So what exactly is a workplace bully? It is important to distinguish between normal worker conflict
 
and workplace bullying. Bullying is defined as repeated, persistent, continuous behavior asopposed to a single negative act and is generally associated with a power imbalance between thevictim and perpetrator, where the victim feels or is made to feel inferior (Salin 2003). Bullying should not be confused with a tough or strict style of management. Examples ofworkplace bullying behaviors include silent treatment, starting or encouraging rumors, personalattack of a person's private life and/or personal attributes, excessive or unjustified criticism, micromanagement, verbal abuse such as name calling, withholding job relevant information, withholding job responsibility, replacing proper work with demeaning jobs, setting unrealistic goals ordeadlines. Often bullying in the workplace is no different than bullying anywhere else and includes acts orverbal comments that could "mentally" hurt or isolate a person or involve physical contact such aspushing or throwing objects. Surveys suggest that 37 per cent of workers have been bullied at work, and 45 per cent of thetargets reported stress levels that affected their health (U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey:September, 2007). This information should be of great importance to managers and supervisorsnot only because of the negative consequences to the employee victim but because of the highpotential for litigation and claims that could result. Characteristics of those who bully include low-self esteem, poor communication skills, unresolvedwork issues from earlier in their career and the belief they have the right to inflict controlling andabusive behaviors onto others. They often are viewed as charmers and may be well liked by theirsupervisors. Of course we have other names for these folks, but let's keep it professional.Additionally, they often bully to cover up their own insecurities and weaknesses. According toRowell (2005), 81 per cent of bullies are managers, 4 per cent are peers, and five per cent arelower-ranking staff. Those who bully have psychological issues that have accumulated over time and are carriedthroughout their life. Bullying occurs over and over again by these individuals because theorganization either ignores their behavior or does not know how to deal with the issues andenforce organizational policies and procedures related to acceptable behaviors or have no policiesin place. Who is the typical victim of the workplace bully? Remember we said that one reason bulliesbehave the way they do is to compensate for their own insecurities. Often the victim is a hardworking, intelligent employee and the bully feels threatened or intimidated. Bullies also tend tovictimize those that desperately need the job and are less likely to quit or resign as a result of thebehavior. According to a study in 2007 by the Canadian Workplace Bully Institute, Women aretargeted by bullies more frequently than men, especially by other women. There are serious negative potential outcomes of workplace bullies that need to be considered.The behavior not only affects the victim, but the overall business or organization. The victim, as aresult of being exposed to the abusive behavior is likely to call in sick frequently rather than faceanother day of humiliation, become less productive while at work, depression or as a last resortresign. When the victim is not at work, then work is not being done, high turnover rate, short andeven long term disability claims could result. All of these will negatively affect the organization as a
 
whole. If the senior management does not take steps to prevent or stop the abusive behavior theywill gain the reputation as a less than desirable place to work and rightfully so and as previouslymentioned, potential for legal action as a result of the management's lack of action could result inthousands upon thousands of dollars in lawsuits. While it is the employer's responsibility to provide a workplace that safe and free from hazards, allemployees, co-workers and associated workers should feel compelled to assist one anotherregardless of their position. If you are being bullied at work there are some things you can do thatmay help: If you feel confident and safe in doing so, confront the bully and let him/her know that theirbehavior is not appreciated or acceptable and that you want it to stop.Report it to your supervisor. If the supervisor is the bully or you feel the supervisor is enabling orignoring the problem, then go to the next level.Document, document, document! Write down every incident. Include, time, date, a summary of theincident and list witnesses.Be willing to consider your own feelings. Are you truly being victimized? Are you being overlysensitive? When confronted by a bully, don't argue. Remember that someone has to be the adult. Let it beyou. Remain calm and maintain eye contact without turning it into a "stair down". Say somethinglike, "I was just heading out, can we talk about it tomorrow" as you walk away. "Really? You thinkso? Hmmm... maybe you're right" again as you walk away. "I don't agree, but we can talk about itanother time". It's important to remain calm and professional, but it's also important to disengagefrom the confrontation. Try and do both. Remember that there are likely to be witnesses, so yourprofessional response to his/her unprofessional behavior will carry much weight. On this note,avoid being alone with the bully if this is possible. Senior managers and supervisors should address workplace bullying as they would any otheridentified workplace health or safety hazard. Once it is identified, the degree of risk should beevaluated, controlled and reviewed to ensure that it does not become, or continue to be, a problemwithin the workplace. An assessment of the risks within a workplace should also consider those to the employer ifworkplace bullying is not appropriately dealt with. There is a four step process that employers canuse to minimize the direct and indirect costs associated with bullying in their workplace and ensurethat the health, safety and welfare of staff and associated people are not negatively affected orotherwise compromised. Identify the Hazard: It is the responsibility of the employer to determine if bullying in the workplaceexists.Assess/Evaluate the Risk Factor: In discussion with those involved, determine how the behaviorhas and is likely to affect employee's health (both physical and mental), welfare and safety ifallowed to continue.Control the Risk: Develop policies, plans and procedures that deal with bullies in the workplace.Include a "zero tolerance" approach and consequences for violation of the policy as well asreporting procedures.

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