Workplace bullying has become very common though everyone may not be ready to talk about it. Tara Parker-Pope writes about it in the New York Times. What do you do to confront the workplace bully? The workforce bully need not be a hulk of a monster but a meek looking seemingly mild mannered lady. Workforce bullying is characterized by someone taking advantage of a higher position in the organisation hierarchy to harass you as the subordinate.

It takes many insidious forms which include ignoring you till you feel you simply don’t belong, putting down all that you do as not being good enough, deliberately giving you tasks which result in showing you in poor light etc.

Here are my 7 Steps To Combat Workplace Bullying:-

  1. Observe and keep track: Data is important to you to prove your point of view. Make brief notes of occasions when you were bullied. It’s not a court of law, but being sure of your facts is a must to push your case.
  2. Don’t feel victimized: The more you think the bully is after you, the more you will imagine slights even where they are not intended. Don’t fall into the ” I am the victim of bullying” trap. Just be aware that something which ought not to go on is going on and you are suffering as a consequence.
  3. Don’t stifle it within you: Share. Keep friends, mentors or some one you trust informed. Sharing your troubles make them easier to bear. They may not have brilliant solutions or all the right answers but the very process of sharing your burdens often make them more bearable
  4. Be Competent: Be on top of your job so that you don’t give the bully material on a platter to hurl at you. He/she still might criticize your work but being efficient you give less chances to be pulled up. Besides, others too perceive you to be better than what your bullying boss makes you out to be.
  5. Be assertive: Without losing your cool, answer the bully assertively. Making it clear that you will not be trampled upon in a firm voice with appropriate eye contact, helps strengthen your position. Bullies prefer those who don’t fight back for their rights. If you keep quiet and take everything that the bully hurls at you, you have yourself to blame.
  6. Don’t get Isolated: Bullies tend to pick on those who are alone and therefore more vulnerable. Make and maintain an active group of friends in a your team and elsewhere in the organisation. Knowing that you know so many others makes the bully think twice before taking you on. If you are perceived as having no supporting friends, you could be an easy target for the bully.
  7. Talk Things Over: Sitting quietly and hoping that things will get better will not help. Speak with the boss and say that you have a few points you wish to discuss. Say these are your perceptions. Say that the first step you have taken is to understand the other to resolve issues.

If these actions don’t help, don’t hesitate to speak to your HR representative/manager. You could be helping many others by doing so, apart from helping yourself.

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This is the 118 th of the “A Step A Day” series : To provide perspective and provoke thought to facilitate self-development across a wide spectrum of issues- big and small- crucial for executive success