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AVOID BEING BULLIED
Stop bullying being swept under the table
It’s safe to say that across the globe, no matter what job, whether it involves managing millions or cleaning loos, at some point employees find themselves at loggerheads with their managers. This is the natural state of affairs; your manager yells at you, you quietly nuture your resentment from the confines of your desk. Or is it?
Statistics reveal that 90 per cent of bullies are managers and, according to thousands of employees across the country who ring The National Workplace Bullying Advice Line, there’s a huge difference between tough management and bullying at work – but all too often, employees don’t recognise the difference. And, you’d be wrong in thinking most bullies are men; statistics reveal that out of all the reported bullies, over 50 percent are women.
Are the sufferers of power hungry bosses being over sensitive, or are they being abused?
Are you being bullied?
It’s not something to be taken lightly. Bullying can leave serious physical as well as emotional effects on its victims. It can lead to increased levels of stress, chronic depression and thoughts of suicide, anxiety and loss of self confidence. If you feel you’re being demeaned, isolated, overloaded with work (in comparison to your other colleagues), you might find yourselves the victim of a bully. A common characteristic is trivial criticism – unlike constructive criticism which serves to improve your work. The bully will often pick on something which has an element of truth in it, to confuse you into thinking it is true.
How to spot a bully
Good managers get the most from their employees by being firm when necessary and crediting good work where it is due. Bullies on the other hand, use a mixture of intimidation and deception. In front of others, the bully will be the picture of charm and understanding. With you, he/ she will reveal their horrible side.
They usually act this way to ensure you have no support structure or empathy should you confide in another work colleague about your bullying. Exhibiting controlling behaviour is a major indication, as is threatening behaviour and being overly aggressive.
What to do
• Write everything down. Keep a diary of every incident, noting exact details and witnesses.
• Talk to a colleague about it, you may well find that you are not the only victim.
• Approach your bully, and calmly tell them that you do not like their behaviour and ask them to stop.
• If you feel like you cannot talk to the bully, or if this has proved unsuccessful, tell your manager.
• Know Your Rights. If you’re not already part of one, join a union. They will give you advice on what to do, provide free legal advice, support you and even if you don’t want to approach your company directly, they can do it for you.
• Make a formal complaint.
How to stop bullying if you’re the boss
The hear no evil, see no evil school of thought is a dangerous one. If you know that bullying is taking place within your company. Apart from decreased productivity, if the bullying is not dealt with, employers may find themselves facing fines, compensation and potentially a jail sentence.
• Visit www.banbullyingatwork.com or www.bullyonline.org or ring the Andrea Adams Trust confidential helpline on: 01273 704900