Author: Julianna Suranyi
When we think of the workplace bully we usually think of a loud, abusive and foul-tempered individual who has the power to make our lives miserable.
Traditionally the signs of a workplace bully are someone who will yell at you rather than ask, slam rather than shut a door, threaten rather than compromise and stand over instead of sit down.
But, after spending a day in a client’s workplace recently, it is clear the workplace bully has morphed and grown into a savvy and sophisticated individual who doesn’t always fit the stereotype and can be harder to recognize. And it’s not always the boss!
The modern day workplace bully can be any co-worker or a subordinate. The Australian Board of Industrial Relations has cited a 23 percent increase in complaints from managers about their subordinates’ aggressive behaviors and interestingly the Australian Board of Mental Health has cited an unprecedented increase in sick days being taken due to stress.
While reasons given are claimed to be for family emergencies, doctor’s appointments or family problems, staff have confided off-the-record that they cannot cope with the behaviors of people they work with. So how do we spot the new and improved bully? Most significantly, and perhaps surprisingly, they often appear to be the victim.
The modern bully will often enlist the support of other managers on their side (who are perhaps unwitting in their duplicity), which offers them a certain amount of protection while they manipulate their co-workers. This often allows the bully to climb the work ladder faster. If you have one of these around you beware as they will have your job eventually if allowed to go on unchecked!
How do we manage them? A bully in any form is only as good as the information they have access to and their ability to act undercover. So, to flush out a modern day bully, get documenting! Keep every transaction and communication documented in a computer or personal diary so that you have accurate records to refer to when necessary.
And if or when confronted, keep to facts and actions and leave out the emotion. When you are confronted simply refer to relevant information. This lets the bully know they are being held accountable. Once a bully knows they are being watched they tend to become more emotional and less discreet. This allows others to begin to see the real person behind the facade and ultimately it helps break down their support base.
In my experience a bully without power eventually resigns within six to nine weeks.
Finally, stick to your job description and role. Most modern bullies will work dump or “delegate” work to others, so deliver exactly what you are supposed to according to your position description. If completion of your work relies on their input in any way, then complete only your part. This allows others to recognize where things are falling down. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling it will reflect on you if the work is not completed, and don’t fill in or cover for the bully.
In the end, allowing someone to revoke your power is a personal choice, not a professional one.
Stand up to a bully and you can manage them with honesty and a good diary! In my client’s case the bully walked within seven weeks of her diary-taking. She managed the bully with smarts, not emotions and triumphed.
Professional Psychic and Intuitive Profiler Julianna Suranyi helps thousands of people around the world with personal guidance, behavioral change and spiritual growth online, corporately and in the media. For direction and clarity in your life click here to sign up for her free newsletter: => http://www.julianna.com.au or ask her questions about your future now: => http://www.julianna.com.au/services/true-psychic-readings.html.
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