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Get Rid of Workplace Bullying Once and for All


Tags:  Management, Difficult co-worker, Office bully

Workplace bullying is not a new phenomenon. In fact, in the last several years it has become quite the hot topic in the work place. However, while lots of people can tell you that it exists and what to look for, not many can tell you what to do about it.
 
Workplace bullying comes in a wide variety of forms, and can include everything from spreading malicious rumors and gossip to excluding someone socially or setting them up for failure. Naturally the average person's reaction to this kind of treatment varies from anger and frustration to panic and anxiety.
 
Whether your position is in management or not, you have the ability to make an impact for yourself or for others who might be experiencing workplace bullying.
And while the jumping off point for preventing workplace bullying is to create and support a work environment that frowns on this type of behavior by developing company values and policies that are communicated and enforced throughout the organization, individuals can also take action.
 
Here are some steps you can take to help improve the work environment and help eliminate workplace bullying.
 
Remain calm
 
Regardless of your position within the organization you have to be personally accountable for your own behavior and actions; that means neither displaying bullying behavior nor condoning it in anyone else. 
 
If you find yourself in a situation where someone is bullying you, calmly yet firmly tell them the behavior is inappropriate and ask them to stop. Don't retaliate or act out as you're liable to look like the perpetrator rather than the injured party.
 
Document, document, document
 
Keep track of the occurrences in a journal or diary being sure to use concrete language, specific dates and times, and the name of the individual involved as well as any witnesses.
 
Be very clear about what took place and the person's behavior. Number and frequency of events is vital, so record them all. Retain copies of any written documentation such as emails, faxes or memos.
 
Tell someone
 
Once you have your documentation, tell someone. Retelling the story helps with the consistency as well as cements the events in your memory.
 
By talking to others you may find out that they have been keeping quiet about a similar situation with the same person because they did not know what to do. Show a united front and encourage them to come forward.
 
While it is important to unburden yourself by seeking support of coworkers – especially others who may have had the same experience – it is also important to share your situation with your supervisor, the bully's supervisor and/or your human resources department.
 
Request that specific action be taken. If your concerns are downplayed or minimized, take your complaint to the next level.  
 
Take care of your health
 
Stress is a very real part of work. However, the added stress of being harassed by a workplace bully can add up. Take care of your health by finding support and comfort in loved ones and continuing to get sufficient rest and exercise. Your health is more important than your job (see companion article Keep Your Job or Keep Your Health).
 
Whatever you do, don't let a workplace bully get away with it. It's not fair to you or to your coworkers.


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