Ask Lh: How to Deal with a Bully at Work
Question: How can I learn to deal with a bully at work?
Answer: For starters, ask yourself some questions.
What is this individual doing specifically? Is it affecting your mental health? Is it hindering your ability to work effectively?
Every bully is not created equal, which means your approach needs to be strategic and personalized. However, the objective of any bully is to intimidate or harm those who they perceive as vulnerable. Below are some key tips that will help you to become successful in dealing with them.
How to Deal with a Bully at Work
Be Aware of the Objective
Every bully has a goal; a workplace bully is no exception. They want to “stir the pot” so to speak and any known weakness in you is up for grabs. They may not like you or they may be jealous of you. The reason may never be known, but don’t use this as a deterrent to not act. Be aware of their intentions and don’t give them the satisfaction of seeing you defeated. It may be unpleasant, but it will only intensify if you respond in an emotional way. Remember that bullies thrive from your reaction.
Ways to Respond
- Ignore them. You hear the comments but give it no attention. If possible, try to keep interaction down to a minimum and remain civil.
- Direct Approach. Speak with them directly in a calm and professional manner. Try to pinpoint the source of the issue and together come up with a solution. Refrain from arguments or volatile speech. The goal is to see if this conflict can be resolved amongst the two of you.
- Speak to your Supervisor. This should be the last resort but is sometimes necessary. Voice your concerns to your superior. He or she should be able to intervene on your behalf, giving advice, or implementing disciplinary actions.
On average, people spend a greater percentage of their time around co-workers, than they do their own family. Long hours, different personalities, and tedious tasks can make for a few rustling of feathers. But workplace bullying is unacceptable. It creates a hostile work environment, decreases productivity, and negatively affects the well-being of employees. You deserve a workplace environment where you can thrive. Be confident, be bold, and never be afraid to speak up!
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