Sometimes, you make or find yourself in a war at work.

When it’s against a competitor it’s usually easy to see what you need to do - gather your forces, and fight to win.

But when it’s against someone in your organization, many people don’t recognize that it’s a battle to the death and they don’t rally themselves appropriately.

To read the rest of this article from the Denver Business Journal, see:
How to Stop Harassment, Abuse and Bullying in the Workplace: Winning Work-Wars

Internal work-wars are waged in many situations:

  • Someone hates you even though you didn’t do anything to them; someone wants turf or power over you.
  • Supervisors, teams or coworkers persecute a designated scapegoat.
  • Two people competing for only one position; someone intending to claw their way to the top over your corpse.
  • Partners separating; hostile transfers or takeovers; supervisors or companies wanting power or rid of you.
  • Family businesses destroyed by family feuds.

You know it’s war when you’ve tried every win/win approach you can think of but the other person thinks it’s still your fault and the only option you’re offered is unconditional surrender.

Of course, battles to stop bullies are not confined to the workplace.  The same types of wars happen between couples, between siblings or in extended families, or among friends or neighbors.

Some clues that you’re fighting for your life:

  • Negativity, harassment and bullying are directed at you; rumors and lies are spread behind your back.
  • Promises are made but later denied; important memos or files disappear.
  • A new employee or supervisor criticizes you no matter what you do; the other person is willing to destroy everything just to avoid giving you anything (as in the movie, “The War of the Roses”).
  • You have to do all the appeasing or changing because the others are so stubborn and difficult that no one expects them to give anything.

Your choices.

Usually, the only productive pathways are leaving under the best terms you can or fighting to win.

Rules for fighting and winning these work-wars (see the original article for details):

  1. Get it.  The sooner you recognize your situation, the sooner you can mobilize yourself effectively.  The longer you live in illusions driven by hopes, fears and unrealistic beliefs – if you’re nice enough people will like you and be fair to you and help you - the more mistakes you’ll make, the more you’ll give away, the weaker you’ll make your position.
  2. If you lose your head, you’ll lose your head.  If you throw fits, threaten violence or start reacting without an effective plan, you’ll sabotage yourself.
  3. Victory often goes to the most determined and disciplined.
  4. Get the best armor and weapons.
  5. Know thy enemy.
  6. Divide and conquer.
  7. Finish the war – no truces.

Often, individuals need coaching and organizations need consulting to help them design and implement an anti-bullying plan that fits the situation at work.  To get the help you need, call Ben at 1-877-828-5543.