Recognizing Bullying in the Workplace

Thu, Jun 14, 2012

General Legal Issues

Recognizing Bullying in the WorkplaceA previous piece on the SmithLaw blog dealt with bullying in the workplace. (It can be found here.) There you will see some ideas about how to deal with a bully. However, as we discussed in that article, workplace bullies can be hard to spot. How can you tell that you are dealing with a bully?

Workplace bullying does not typically involve physical aggression. That is a more obvious form of bullying that also has more legal consequences. If bullying begins to take that form, immediate action needs to be taken by involving human resources and law enforcement.

Most bullies are looking to gain confidence by intimidating others. They need to get ahead by making others feel bad or look bad. Some bullies are also more aware they are bullying than others are. How can you recognize more subtle forms of workplace bullying?

Manipulation in the form of intimidation, harassment, exclusion, “jokes”, comments, or threats are obvious signs of bullying. Certain looks or actions are also in the realm of possibility.

A great article about workplace bullying and the forms it can take is on the Forbes website. It discusses health problems that can be attributed to workplace bullying, something often overlooked as general stress. It also discusses the Workplace Bullying Institute, which offers interesting statistics and information that should be useful to anyone who thinks they are being bullied.

Do not allow workplace bullies to cloud your reputation. Brush up on workplace bullying so you can help spot the signs.

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