Bullies don’t only exist in the schoolyard. There will be bullies during every stage of your life and they will seek you out and have a go at you, unless you make it clear that you won’t have it.
Are you unsure of what workplace bullying looks like? It could be harassment, gossiping, intimidation, or even withholding important information. The bullies, or aggressors usually act like part of their job description allows for them to make people feel inferior and it’s absolutely unacceptable.
If you were to close your eyes and imagine that one person at your place of work that might considered a bully, who would it be? Do they ever exhibit any of the mentioned behaviors towards you? If so, here are a few things you can do about it.
Stand up and Speak up
If you can muster enough courage than the best thing to do is call the bully out on their behavior. This will almost always stop them in their tracks. Just like in the schoolyard, bullies almost always back down when confronted. It’s best not to be alone when you confront the bully just in case they are the rare breed that gets more aggressive when confronted.
Be a Tattle Tale
I know, I know. This is a big no-no in grade school, but in this case you may need to speak to the higher ups. If your workplace has a human resources officer than you can start there. It might feel strange, but there are people that are trained in how to handle these situations. Get the help you need.
Ask for Professional Learning on the Subject
If you’d like to try a more passive approach you could suggest that your company take part in a professional development series on workplace bullying. This way, the bully may get the message without having to be confronted at all.
It can be very demoralizing to spend your day working with a workplace bully. Most of us have had this experience before and now we know there are things we can do about it. Just like we would tell our children in the schoolyard, it is not okay and it has to stop.