You may be surprised to know that workplace bullying occurs very often. Maybe it is because some people just never grow up in regards to social behavior. Or maybe it is because people get way too stressed out at work and need to relieve the tension. One thing we know for sure is that we should pay attention to this issue, as no one should tolerate bullying.
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What is workplace bullying?
According to the 2017 WBI U.S. Workplace Bullying Survey, more than 60 million workers reported being affected by workplace bullying. So what is it and why is it so prevalent? Workplace bullying is a patterned behavior that causes either emotional distress or physical harm to other people in the workplace. Basically, it doesn’t differ much from typical bullying in schools, except for the tools available for the bully.
There are different examples of workplace bullying. Most common tactics include the following:
- 71% - falsely accusing of “errors” they didn’t actually make.
- 68% - hostile staring and nonverbally intimidating.
- 64% - minimization of someone’s thoughts and feeling during team meetings.
- 64% - ignoring someone to separate from other co-workers.
- 61% - making up rules that the bullies themselves do not follow.
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What are the types of workplace bullying?
You know most of them, yet do not pay enough attention. Depending on the type of bullying, different measures should be taken. Let’s look at these types:
- Pranksters. Most of the time, the pranks or jokes are indeed funny and everything. But when the pranks are repeatedly happening to one person, that’s when things get dangerous. It means that the pranksters have found their victim.
- Sabotage. Another covert form of workplace bullying is intended to make you work harder than it has to be. Typically, this type of bullying is opportunistic, which means a person will sabotage you in any possible way to take credit for your ideas and work.
- Critics. Have you ever noticed that one person who constantly criticizes your work and never encourages you? Be sure – it is a critic aka “hater.” Critics will find every single flaw in your work and will let anyone know about it.
- Freezing out. Another form of workplace bullying is basically creating some sort of invisible gate and keeping you away from entering. Coworkers would constantly exclude someone from lunches, happy hours, or even important things like brainstorms or meetings.
- Gossip. Yes, many people haven’t changed at all since the school. Gossipers spread rumors behind your back, well, just because they like such games.
There are many more types of workplace bullying. Do you know any other? Share with us!
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What to do if you are bullied?
Unfortunately, another person is very unlikely to solve your issue. Therefore, it’s on your shoulders to stand up for yourself. First, come up with a clear strategy, which should depend on who is bullying you. In case your peer or subordinate is a bully, you should “turn the tables.” Next time, you will hear some negative remarks be ready to have indifferent responses as if you really don’t care. This way you show that you are invincible even if it’s actually not true.
If your boss is bullying you, however, it would be difficult to stand your ground in the same way. In most cases, you are not the only one who is bullied, so use the power of many. Together you can collect a proof that the bullying is hurting the company in a long-term perspective. Remarkably, the boss will stop bullying people when they understand they lose lots of money because of it.
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However, no matter what your strategy is, experts recommend documenting everything. Any case of bullying should be noted, recorded or else, so you could present the evidence to your manager. Remember, any type of bullying should never be tolerated!