Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

The 7 Tips For Avoiding a Work Bully

April 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 129

A workplace bully can be older, younger, a colleague, manager or even someone working below you in the ranks (ie. in the case of unionized workplaces). Like bullies from our childhood, they often attack when you are alone, caught off guard and vulnerable. They also use manipulative techniques to erode your self esteem, all based on their need to fulfill something within themselves that is lacking. I recently had a conflict coaching client who was dealing with a bully who used every technique to avoid being caught.

This particular bully was an expert in manipulation. Luckily, my client was a supervisor within that working context, which provided him with formal authority and support to address the problem quickly. However, often there is no clear way of dealing with a bully. So what can you do if you are a victim of workplace bullying?

Here are 7 tips to avoid a workplace bully, or better, address the bully and avoid the stress and pain caused by the bully. Remember, if something doesn't work for you, please send me an email. I would be happy to add tips based on your questions.

  1. Document everything. Make a spreadsheet with the following columns; date, time, witnesses, what was exchanged (both you and the other party), and the impact on you. Things such as someone's smirk, can be important in describing the tone of the interaction.
  2. Know what you've done wrong (if anything), and learn from it. More importantly, write down how you are doing things right. Go through those old reference letters and 'marinade' in the positive messages when your patience is tried.
  3. Resist the urge to gossip to co-workers and to take aggressive stances (such as yelling back, etc). Firstly, you might loose your credibility and the chance to formally complain. Secondly, you might actually make the situation worse through cultivating more reasons to try to control you.
  4. Establish allies in the work place and work hard on maintaining these relationships. That means taking a bit of time to say hello, and also offering your expertise in any areas you can. Are there others that are also victims of the same bully?
  5. Find someone that you trust outside of work, and talk about the situation. Remember, these bullies can target the most vulnerable parts of us, so it's important to reflect on the experience. What helped me was talking to friends about. Ask them to remind you of how great you are as a supervisor or employee.
  6. Start applying for other jobs. I know this sounds extreme, but you need to know you have other options in case you don't get the support you need.
  7. If you feel safe, or that its worth confronting the person, try it. Saying something simply such as, "When you do this, I feel (explain). Please don't do that anymore". Sometimes, government regulations require that a victim tell the perpetrator before it might be considered psychological harassment. Check with your government's legislation. Be sure to consult a lawyer for legal advice and information. Consider contacting an Ombudsperson, but still be cautious as these offices may be highly politicized. Also, your human resources specialist might have a similar relationship with the bully. Rely on external resources if you are not sure.

Sometimes bullies don't even know the actual impact they have on people. Some may be selfish and some may lack the skills to deal with their own stress and problems. Some might change. If they don't, consider reporting it, but do your research first. Good luck and let me know how it goes or if you have other questions.

Jonathan has a Master of Science and several years of experience in conflict resolution, mediation, partnership building, facilitation, leadership and diversity. Jonathan is an accredited mediator in Canada. Jonathan completed various Alternative Dispute Resolution training in Canada and the Netherlands, dealing with Victim-Offender Mediation, Negotiation, Neighbourhood Mediation, Public Policy Mediation and more. Visit his website at

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Work Bully


Workplace Bully


Conflict Coaching










Conflict Management

Imagine a 10,000 piece jigsaw complete with a picture and then a tornado comes along and rips it apart, the pieces scattered and the picture lost. Imagine that jigsaw falling back to earth in some

By: Tim Holmes l Self Improvement > Empowerment l August 12, 2012 lViews: 335

Personal growth and understanding of self are no different. We fear that which we do not understand and it is a choice as to what we do with that feeling of fear. I now understand myself very well

By: Tim Holmes l Self Improvement > Personal Growth l August 12, 2012 lViews: 309

If you are going to write articles online, you are going to inadvertently increase your critical thinking skills. The reason is simple - because as you are preparing an article you are explaining to

By: Lance Winslow l Self Improvement > Mind Development l August 02, 2012 lViews: 302

Back when I was in high school and college I was a spectacular athlete, and I'm not afraid to say so now. At the time, it might not been inappropriate, as it would have shown an inflated ego, but I

By: Lance Winslow l Self Improvement > Mind Development l August 02, 2012 lViews: 496

Brainwave entrainment is a great resource for self-hypnosis and can be very effective in helping you to access the brainwave frequency that allows you to change your core programming by changing your

By: Wanina Petlock l Self Improvement > Mind Development l August 01, 2012 lViews: 248

Simply put, brainwave entrainment is a process that uses sound patterns to change your dominant brainwave to a specific brainwave frequency that produces a certain, desired effect. Entrainment can

By: Wanina Petlock l Self Improvement > Mind Development l August 01, 2012 lViews: 235

How to make the most of your "downtime" at home so you feel more relaxed. The spa robe or bathrobe is the perfect relaxation attire to put your mind in relaxation mode.

By: Cathy Henryl Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 27, 2012 lViews: 278

What's the real source of your stress? Coaches and therapists will tell you that when people are stressed or angry, what they say they are upset about and what is the real cause are two different

By: Lynette Cranel Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 25, 2012 lViews: 257

Have you ever thought of spending at least one day for a weekend or spiritual retreat? Here are some tips on how to have an effective spiritual retreat.

By: Martina B Lopezl Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 24, 2012 lViews: 226

Looking for new solutions to the same old problems? Try a few of these unique suggestions to enhance your coping capabilities.

By: Rosemary K McDonaldl Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 23, 2012 lViews: 166

Life today is filled with stress. Whether it's at work, driving, or even at home, it's so easily to become stressed. Even grocery shopping can be stressful! Nonetheless, for the sake of not ruining

By: Pam D Jonesl Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 23, 2012 lViews: 182

Stress seems to affect almost everyone these days. Just keeping up with day to day activities can seem overwhelming at times or maybe its the constant pressure at work that is the cause of your

By: Robyn M. Cookel Self Improvement > Stress Managementl July 21, 2012 lViews: 167

Anger is an important emotion that shouldn't be avoided or repressed. Anger is key to our happiness and to making relationships work. Unfortunately, people often associate anger with relationship

By: Jonathan Elstonl Self Improvement > Anger Managementl March 31, 2012 lViews: 121

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus