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Abusive Boss? Bullying In The Work Place - How It Works and What To Do

Updated on October 26, 2014
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Koralee is an Author, who studies human behavior. She's passionate about overcoming obstacles, bullying and self love. In life and at work.

Bullying in the workplace
Bullying in the workplace | Source

Bullying In The Workplace

Bullying in playgrounds has been around since they were invented, but bullying in the workplace has only come to light in recent years. In a research study completed by Dr. Judy Fisher-Blando, in 2008, she found that close to 75% of people surveyed were affected by workplace bullying.

Chances are high that you will face a bully in the workplace. Empower yourself with knowledge so you will recognize what it is, and what to do about it.

Bullying in the Workplace

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5 Types of Bullying in the Workplace

Bullies tend to use the same typography when it comes to how they bully their targets. The following has been accepted by academic researchers as being the general type of bullying used.

Terms Used: Bully - is the aggressor; target is the one being bullied.

  • Threatens the target's professional status - Belittles opinions, accuses of little effort, humiliation publicly, or use of discipline in an intimidating way.
  • Threat to target's personal standing - Destructive sarcasm and innuendo, teasing, intimidation, insults, inappropriate jokes.
  • Overworking the target - Includes unneeded disruptions, unnecessary pressure, and deadlines impossible to meet.
  • Desabilizing - Failing to acknowledge when a target does good work, allocating tasks that are meaningless, changing goals and not informing the target, reminding target of blunders repeatedly, and/or setting them up to fail.
  • Isolating target - Includes prevention of access to other work opportunities, social or physical isolation, keeping back information, not informing the target of updates or changes, excluding or ignoring the target.

Bullying in the Workplace - How They do it?

Some bullies are so good at what they do, and it's so much a part of their personalities, that people don't even realize its happening to them at first: Below are 20 out of 25 of the most- used tactics published by the Workplace Bullying Institute.

  1. Accuses target of errors that were not actually made.
  2. Hostile glances, staring, and non-verbal intimidation tactics.
  3. Blow off someone's thoughts as being silly, in meetings.
  4. Uncontrollable mood swings in front of others
  5. Make up rules as they go.
  6. Blow off good or excellent work quality without giving credit
  7. Constant and harsh criticizing while giving the target a different standard than others
  8. Start or don't stop destructive gossip or rumors about the target.
  9. Encourage others to turn against the target
  10. Display undignified, gross behavior publicly
  11. Yell, scream and throw tantrums in front of other people.
  12. Steals credit for the work of others.
  13. Lying about the target's performance in an evaluation
  14. Declaring the target as insubordinate for not following commands
  15. Using the target's personal information to humiliate them publicly or privately
  16. Retaliating against the target after they file a complaint.
  17. Verbally insulting target based upon disability, gender, accent, language, or age.
  18. Launching a campaign without a reason to have the person ousted.
  19. Encouraging someone to transfer or quit instead of facing more bullying.
  20. Ensuring the failure of a target's project by not doing tasks required of them, such as taking calls.

Women are just as much bullies as men aren't as aggressive as men.
Women are just as much bullies as men aren't as aggressive as men. | Source

Who Gets Bullied in the Workplace

According to Wikipedia:

  • Women were at a higher risk of being a target of bullying in 2007 at 57% of the reported cases.
  • Men are involved in aggressive bullying more often - 60%
  • When a bully is a woman, she will tend to target women as well - 71%

Race: Also plays a role, the percentages of workplace bullying incidence in 2007 are shown below from least to most:

  • Asian: 30.6%
  • Whites - 33.5%
  • Blacks - 46%
  • Hispanics - 52.1%

Bullying On The Job, What It Is, Who Is Doing It and How To Stop It

Bullying in the Workforce - What to Do About it

Are you experiencing bullying in the workforce, and want to try to deal with it before you report it? You can try some of the tips below to protect yourself and try to make the situation better. Particularly, if the bullying is just starting. However, If you fear that you are in physical danger, report it immediately to the police and your employer.

  • Get advice from a mentor you can trust, who may have experience dealing with bullying.
  • Try not to let the bully intimidate you. You know how good at your job you are, do not let them define you.
  • Continue to keep doing your job well. The bully is hoping you will fail, if you keep up the good work, you will win.
  • Make sure you let your superiors know the good work that you do. If it is your boss doing the bullying, let others in the workplace know. Bullies in the workplace usually try to make everyone else think that you're not performing well. Sometimes they will even report the tiniest infraction. Your actions will show more than their words.
  • Never allow the bully in your workplace to isolate you. Keep your workplace friendships with your other colleagues.

Stop Bullying

Find out how to stop bullying in the workplace.
Find out how to stop bullying in the workplace. | Source

What do you think?

What Bullying in the Workplace have you had to deal with?

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