Bullied at Work? Know What to Do.

Bullying takes many shapes and forms, it can be verbal or non-verbal abuse.  Intimidation, relentless teasing and disrespectful actions are among these abuse.  And most of the time, their actions are always covert and not all victims are brave enough to conceal it.  Of course this is not an isolated case between boss-employee relationship but also, peer-to-peer bullying is the most common situation in workplace bullying.

If you are in a tough situation like this at work, would you know what to do?

According to an AARP jobs expert, Kerry Hannon, 1 in 3 workers are really having a tough time at work because of workplace bullies, and in her article, she wrote ways you can to do protect yourself from these disrespectful people.

Once you are able to identify the situation as bullying, think thoroughly what is really happening.  Would you consider that you may also be triggering the bully’s bad behavior?  He might really have a very bad attitude even outside the workplace?  Consider that, you may also have a responsibility in his actions.  Are you the only one receiving such treatment?  There are a lot of factors to consider to size up the situation.  Identify all points of actions to be sure that it really is workplace bullying.

Upon identifying, make sure to document what’s happening.  All unfavorable situations should be recorded.

You can also talk to the bully.  Make sure that you are confident enough to face the person who is always giving you a hard time at work.  A good one-on-one talk without any physical violence.

If a good hearty talk didn’t work, time to consider telling your situation to the department who handles all employees welfare.  That will be the Human Resource department.  They should take action after their own thorough investigation.

All four steps are included in you Plan A.  Now, if this Plan A doesn’t work out well, time to think of your Plan B.  If Plan A’s result if unfavorable to you and searching for another workplace is your Plan B, that is entirely up to you.  Be a professional in leaving your current workplace though, don’t spread that you’ll be leaving your post.

For more elaborate explanation of Kerry Hannon’s article, simply click here.


Handling Workplace Bully in Five Steps

The case of bullying is not isolated in the school grounds, it can also be found in the workplace.  It may not be that obvious but it is certainly present, with the same destructive effect to their victims.  According to Chrissy Scivicque, a career coach, corporate trainer, and public speaker there are five ways in handling a bully in your workplace.

The steps Chrissy Scivicque recommended includes evaluating the whole picture of the situation, be brave to oppose what is wrong,  record important details of the bullying incident, have your superiors and/or the HR department know what’s happening, and lastly, if all these steps fail, simply move forward with your life.

As you evaluate what’s happening with you in your workplace, make sure that the bullying incident is not just how his attitude really works.  A workplace isn’t like your home, it doesn’t need to be a pleasant place to always go to, so don’t go mistaking his civil work attitude as a bullying attitude.  Just like any other workplace bully victims, it needs a lot of courage to stand up for yourself.  It doesn’t mean you’ll be retaliating with your bully, but simply make him see how is the right way to treat people, if not nicely, then professionally.

These are just a couple of steps you will need to do to according to Chrissy Scivicque’s 5 Steps for Handling Workplace Bully the right way.  Read more of her article.

Dolphin Management Style Approach to Workplace Bullying

School-based bullying attracts more attention over the years but adults also bully and get bullied all the time in surprising places. Universities, hospitals, schools, corporations, and even the police stations are all settings where the real, common, and shockingly workplace bullying happens. A new study conducted by the Conference Board of Canada called: “Workplace Bullying Primer: What It Is and How to Deal With” clearly describes the rapidly increasing problem of workplace bullying. “Top Down” bullying is the most common form of workplace bullying in which a superior bullies his subordinates. Other forms include what we call “Lateral” or peer to peer and “Bottom Up” or employee bullies superior can also occur regularly. It was found out that email is the major method of workplace bullying. Email is considered as ubiquitous but it can be a feeding ground for nastiness around the workplace. Office rumors and innuendo can spread like wildfire in an instant behind the anonymity of a computer screen. When it comes to forms of bullying, women more often report about bullying from men in the workplace. Men on the other hand, direct their bullying behavior towards the work of victims. According to Shimi Kang, M.D., as a psychiatrist and addiction specialist, she can see the adverse effects of all kinds of workplace bullying on all types of people in her practice. Notable common effects experienced of workplace bullying includes symptoms of stress, mental health issues, disability leave, frequent absences, employee turnover, less productivity, lower job satisfaction, and increased legal fees for the company. How to solve workplace bullying? The problem is definitely real and there is a corresponding solution. The most effective leadership approach to workplace bullying is the Dolphin Management Style. You can read more of Shimi Kang, M.D.’s article as published in Psychology Today.

Employees who were bullied may find less sympathy from other bullied victims

Typically, people may think that the best person to approach about a problem or a traumatic situation would be someone who went through a similar experience.  Individuals going through a rough break up or divorce would usually go to a person who also experienced it.  The same goes for employees who were bullied at work.  The premise is, since they’ve been through a similar situation, then they would be more sympathetic and offer advice on how to deal with the matter.

However, a research conducted by Ruttan, Loran Nordgren, an associate professor of management and organizations at Kellogg, and Mary-Hunter McDonnell of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, showed that people who endured a similar experience would be less likely to show compassion and empathize with others with the same hardship.

The team conducted a series of experiential experiments to look at how people reacted to certain situations.  One of the studies they did was on how previous employees who experienced workplace bullying reacted or felt towards a person who has been having a hard time dealing with bullying.  The Kellogg study also explored whether people who were previously unemployed felt compassion towards individuals who are currently unemployed.  Both studies showed that those who experienced the situation, be it bullying or work challenges, are less likely to empathize with people who are going through a similar hardship.

This is very interesting and can be used as a guiding principle when building programs to support bullying victims or even training or mentoring activities.

To learn more about the research findings, click here to read the full article.

Companies beware: Inappropriate comments on social media may constitute as workplace bullying

Let’s face it… today’s world is filled with high tech devices and gadgets, as well as programs or applications that can keep everybody connected to everyone else.  People use social media to let their followers know what they’re up to, their thoughts about a topic, situation or even another person.  It may be a blessing to be technically close to other people, but it also comes with some disadvantages especially to employees who became a victim of a work place bully.

A recent case brought forward by a bullied employee to the Fair Work Commission, cited an act of unfriending in Facebook by a colleague as one of the bullying behaviors which helped to support her plea.   The Commission found that the act constituted bullying given the circumstances surrounding the case.  This serves as a reminder to other organizations to ensure that they inform their employees, as well as the leaders, on appropriate online behavior when it comes to managing their private social media accounts.

Anna Casellas, a partner at Clayton Utz, said that inappropriate social media behavior has played an increasing factor in several bullying and dismissal cases in the past three years.  Such cases presented to labor courts or tribunals considered cyber bullying at work and off work as relevant instances to support unfair dismissal claims or workplace bullying cases. However, Casellas clarified that the recent bullying case brought forward to the Fair Work Commission should not be taken as a precedent, wherein an act of Facebook unfriending is considered in itself a form of bullying.  It is still important to view and understand other extenuating and mitigating factors surrounding the case, before inappropriate online comments or behaviors may be considered as evidence of bullying.

To read more about the rise of improper social media behaviors in workplace bullying cases, click here.

Celebrities Join Bully Victim Lizzie Velasquez in Campaign against Bullying

October is considered the National Bullying Prevention month in the U.S., wherein several anti-bullying programs and activities are scheduled to happen.  Although the activities lean more towards bullying in schools, some of the messages behind the campaigns are also applicable for employees bullied at work or how it may eventually affect the emergence of bullies in the workplace.  One campaign that has gained the support of celebrities and other people is Lizzie Velasquez’s call for a Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Lizzie Velasquez, a bully victim who suffers from a rare syndrome that prevents her from gaining weight, took inspiration from her heartbreaking experience after seeing herself as a subject of a Youtube video nearly 10 years ago that labelled her as the “World’s Ugliest Woman.”  Today, she has become a motivational speaker, activist and a star in her own right.  She was also the subject of a recent documentary titled “A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story,” which chronicled her life and her journey to get Congress to approve a Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Now, celebrities such as Chris Hemsworth, Sara Bareilles, Michelle Phan, Octavia Spencer, Katie Couric, Tori Kelly, Kacey Musgraves, Derek Hough, Dr. Oz and Zachary Levi have pledged in a video, that they are “with Lizzie.”

Hopefully with the Safe Schools Improvement Act, school officials and parents will take better notice of the bullying behavior of some children and address it early on.  It would definitely help to limit the number of bullies entering the work place in the future.

To read more about Velasquez’s proposed Safe Schools Improvement Act and to watch her anti-bullying video on People, click here.


Workplace Bullying Hurts Both the Employee and Company


There’s a saying that bullies in the workplace are the same bullies one would have encountered at school, only much older.  In today’s competitive job market and working environment, more and more employees have become victims of work place bullies.  A nationwide survey sponsored by the Workplace Bullying Institute indicated that 27 percent of workplace respondents said that they were bullied at work, while another 21 percent reported to having witnessed a co-worker being abused or bullied in the workplace.

Needless to say, workplace bullying is painful for employees who became a victim of a work place bully.   Being subjected to humiliating situations and abusive bully behaviors are also detrimental to a person’s mental health.  In worst cases, it can even lead to suicide.

Addressing the issue of workplace bullying is not an easy task.  However, it is imperative for companies to learn how to deal with bullying and avoid such instances from happening in their organizations.  Turning a blind eye to such negative behaviors and not imposing policies covering bullying or having programs on anti-bullying, will eventually affect the company’s bottomline, productivity and employee retention.

What’s critical is for the organization’s leaders to accept accountability and have ownership over the issue, in order to combat workplace bullying.

To read more about the subject, click here.

Here’s a Simple Principle on How to Tackle Being Bullied at Work

There’s this interesting article written by Elizabeth Cotton in The Conversation, where she listed down a simple principle, along with practical steps that a worker can follow in their battle against workplace bullying.  Cotton’s article is set against the backdrop of an endemic culture of bullying in the medical field, but the tips that she mentioned cuts across industries and generations.

One of the points that Cotton raised is that everyone has a hand in bullying.  It’s not only the work place bully or the victim who are involved, but other people who witnessed the abusive behavior contribute to the situation.  This reportedly includes politicians who would cut budget meant to launch programs to deal with bullying.  Whatever the role may be, Cotton said we all play a part in making bullying an established norm at work.

The article went on to describe how bullying works and some of the coping mechanisms that victims would typically follow such as withdrawal or joining forces with other people with the hope that it would afford some form of protection against the bullying.  What’s interesting is Cotton’s simple principle on how to deal with bullying at work.  Cotton wrote, “Tackling bullying requires sweating the small stuff and taking some small practical steps.”

It may sound simple, but it entails a lot of courage and conviction, especially for a bullying victim.  Still, the steps Cotton enumerated are things that can help to support the victim and help them regain a little bit of their humanity, while they contemplate the next big steps in dealing with work place bullies.

To learn about Elizabeth Cotton’s practical tips to deal with bullying, click here.

Celebrities Joining Anti-Bullying Campaign with Creative Shirts for a Cause

Given the rising incidents of bullying, celebrities are now joining various programs which promotes anti-bullying.  One of the latest campaigns out today even had a few stars design shirts with motivation messages about spreading kindness instead of hatred and bullying prevention.

These stars included actress and dancer Alyson Stoner, “Every Witch Way” actress Paola Andino, figure skater and 2014 U.S. national champion Gracie Gold, actress Addison Riecke, singer and songwriter Rachel Platten, “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez and more.

A total of 10 celebrities participated in the anti-bullying campaign, wherein these stars partnered with CustomInk in designing limited edition shirts which will be available for sale.  What’s unique about the campaign is that it also has a charitable side to it, wherein proceeds from the shirt sales will be donated to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center.

To learn more about the campaign and to see the shirt gallery, click here.

Crew Members of a Scotland Hit Drama Reported They Were Bullied and Treated Unfairly

More and more cases of bullying are cropping up all over the world.  One reported case came from Scotland, wherein crew members of a hit drama show, River City, said they were bullied and treated unfairly.

Bosses from BBC Scotland have launched an investigation on the reported workplace bullying, after one crew member was fired due to false accusations of swearing.  There were also reports of the new management deciding to remove traditional morning and afternoon tea breaks, and demanded additional filming to be done during the previous break times.  The BECTU union representing more than half of the River City crew are furious over the incidents and have even threatened to launch a strike action against the network’s unfair dismissal of the crew member and other unfair treatment claims.

The union even described the managing style of the new River City management as extremely aggressive.

To read more about the bullying case and responses from BBC Scotland on Daily Record, click here.