Work bullies can ruin a culture, destroy productivity and make your life – and the lives of everyone else they target – miserable. And it’s not just bullying bosses who are the problem. Co-workers and employees also use bullying behavior that creates a hostile workplace.
Excluding lethal weapons, here are the top dozen techniques bullies use to ruin a workplace.
To read the rest of this article from the Dallas Business Journal, see: Don’t let bullies create a hostile workplace http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/stories/2008/06/09/smallb3.html
Most bullies use combinations of these methods. The relentless application of these harassing, abusive techniques reinforces humiliation, pain and fear. Cliques and mobs rapidly form. Bullying can make the targets feel helpless and situations seem hopeless.
These methods cause increased hostility, tension, selfishness, turf wars, sick leave, stress-related disabilities, turn over and legal actions. People become isolated, do busy work with no important results and waste huge chunks of time talking about the latest episodes of bullying.
Effort is diffused instead of aligned. Teamwork, productivity, responsibility, efficiency, creativity and taking reasonable risks are decreased. Promotions are based on sucking up to the most difficult and nasty people, not on merit. The best people leave as soon as they can.
Your operational system may look wonderful on paper, but the wrong people in the wrong culture can always find ways to thwart it. Your pipeline leaks money and profits plummet.
A common mistake in dealing with repeated bullying is to spend much too much time and effort trying to educate, explain, understand, accept, forgive, beg, bribe, ignore, reason with or appease them. These approaches won’t convert dedicated bullies into reasonable, civil and professional people. These approaches only stop people who aren’t really bullies, but have behaved badly one time.
During the time well-meaning or conflict-avoidant supervisors, human resource and civil rights professionals are trying these techniques to educate or rehabilitate bullies, they’re actually victimizing everyone else in the organization. The monetary and emotional cost of tolerating or enabling bullies can be astronomical.
Determined bullies don’t take your understanding and acquiescing as kindness. They take your giving in as weakness and an invitation to abuse you more. Bullies bully repeatedly and without real remorse. They might appear to apologize sincerely, but you should accept only behavioral change, not good acting.
The best way to stop a bully is to stand up to them. Expose and isolate them. Or catch them doing something outrageous or illegal in front of witnesses. Stopping them and having serious consequences for repetitions are also the greatest stimuli for change.
Learn what you can do to eliminate the high cost of hostile attitudes, behavior and performance.