Among the various issues I help my clients with, workplace related problems are common. Diplomacy and political correctness doesn’t stop people from bullying. Sometimes it’s a coworker bullying another coworker, a manager bullying a subordinate, or even employees bullying someone who technically has authority over them. Regardless of where you stand in the pecking order, you can be a target.
I’ve had my share in previous jobs of being bullied by employers. One said to the group of us to go find work somewhere else if we didn’t like the way he did things, another avoided communicating with me and would cut down my shifts at a whim if I did something he didn’t like, another would mock me in conversation with my coworkers. The list goes on. In a few jobs, it was a bunch of coworkers ganging up to pick on me, quite literally.
What can you do? This is where it gets tricky, because workplace bullying is generally done off-the-record. You’re kept in the dark, spoken to instead of emailed, avoided, given non-verbal condescending messages (rolling of the eyes, sighs, looks of disgust, etc.), given impossible or unrealistic deadlines. A daily dose of passive aggressive abuse of that sort results in an eventual overload of stress that forces employees to go on sick leave, find other jobs, or quit. In some cases, the damage done never heals completely. The best thing to do is to document and keep written proofs. If possible and necessary, having witnesses willing to speak up for you is also great.
What are your experiences of workplace bullying? Did it get resolved or did you suffer dearly for it? I’d love to hear.
Be a light to those around you today!