4 Main Characteristics Of Workplace Bullies

This is due not only to some of the major news media interviewing the experts on it but also through the explosion of the social media outlets online and the influences they have had in recent years.

We are also finding that the instant communications that people have now like texting their friends and families on their smartphones or other wireless devices, or posting to their contacts on Facebook, Linked In, Twitter and YouTube, has made a big difference by bringing workplace issues to the forefront for millions of more people than were previously aware of them.

Although the social media and other mobile devices make the awareness and reporting of workplace bullying incidents almost instantaneous, there is another side effect to this whole thing that has reared it’s ugly head.

Cyber bullying!

Now the bullies have a new weapon to use against their targets to bring them down emotionally, relentlessly harass them, ridicule them and even make their lives miserable during their off time on weekends and vacations.

These wireless devices can really add to the unhealthy, intimidating or humiliating behaviors of workplace bullies The characteristics of the workplace bully remains the same but the delivery systems have improved tremendously.

Remember the 4 main characteristics of a bully:

1. To control and aggressively assault his victim through repeated verbal abuse.

2. Sabotaging of their work to make them look incompetent.

3. Humiliating their victims in front of their co-workers.

4. Generally mistreating them so badly that they lose their dignity, confidence and self respect.

If these types of behaviors are haunting you whether they are coming from your boss or another co-worker and you think that they are being obsessive with their abuse, there are certain steps that you can take which will help you rise above it all.

It all boils down to learning why it is happening, who is getting targeted and why and what kinds of actions will be needed to put an end to it.

As of right now, the law can be used for discrimination cases but there are none yet on the books against bullying itself. The Healthy Workplace Bill has been introduced in a number of states with Massachusetts becoming the closest to pass the bill.

Until one is passed we have to change things in certain other ways to protect our health, our mental and emotional stability and make the place were we work and spend most of our day, a fun and exciting workplace that is never toxic.

Workplace Bullying – Is It Preventable?

Have you ever been confronted by a manager or coworker who consistently uses aggressive behavior against you? Do they make you feel threatened or uncomfortable in your own work environment? Unfortunately, you could be the victim of workplace bullying. The Workplace Bullying Institute defines workplace bullying as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse, offensive conduct/behaviors that are threatening, humiliating or intimidating and/or work interference to prevent productivity.”

In a survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com of over 5000 full-time employees, more than one-in-four admitted to having felt bullied in the workplace. The Workplace Bullying Institute increases this statistic and reports that one-in-three or a staggering 35% of workers confess to being bullied. Like childhood bullying, the bully looks for a target that is usually in a lower or more vulnerable position. Hence, women are slightly more at risk of being bullied than men. In today’s workplace, women are often in positions less senior than men and are thus targeted as a potential victim. There is also a generational issue that can affect employees. Employees over the age of 55 and under the age of 24, due to fear of firing and lack of confidence, are subjected to more workplace bullying than those in the mid-age range.

The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire listed five ways an employee or company should respond to workplace bully. These include:

• recognizing the bully and his/her patterns
• responding with confidence and not hesitance
• showing powerful body language
• keeping a journal of occurrences
• as the employer, cutting your losses.

Mary Lou Quinlan, CEO of Just Ask A Woman, states, “I think the best way to defuse, especially the ignorance, but even the anger, is to walk in in an atmosphere of mutual respect. At least try the, ‘I’m here to be successful, and so are you. So let’s just put it on the table, and you’re going to have to knock it off.” Bullying can cause major negative effects on specific target employees as well as the general workplace. It can cause psychological affects, absenteeism and even potential lawsuits from the bully’s victim as well as overall low morale, performance and productivity from all employees.

The severity and widespread manner of workplace bullying is appalling and companies should take steps to protect employees from this occurrence. Many have anti-bullying workshops or no-tolerance bullying policies in place but a major preventative measure can be taken in the form of pre-employment background screening. Professionals can help protect employees by revealing resume discrepancies or past warnings a potential employee may have received by previous employers. Through a thorough and accurate background screenings, they can help companies hire safe and qualified employees.

Workplace Bullying: Understanding Workplace Abuse

Have you ever had that feeling when you knew you were facing an up-hill battle that you just couldn’t win? Wasn’t it difficult to grasp that no matter what you did or said, it would never make things “normal” again? What was running through your mind at that time? Indignation? Anger? Frustration? Resignation? These are all often the emotions people feel when they are victims of workplace bullying.

Defined as the repeated social, verbal, psychological or even physical abuse by an employer, workplace mistreatment can be started by a manager or colleague in the workplace. This type of bullying at work can happen to anyone in any type of employment situation. Even volunteers, students and interns can be affected. These actions are typically intended to humiliate or degrade the target of such abuse and frequently undermine an employee’s right to dignity at work.

How to Identify Workplace Mistreatment

This type of workplace abuse can take on many different forms. The primary identifier is an on-going pattern of harmful behaviors. Some examples might include the following:

  • Vague blame without factual support
  • Unreasonable criticism
  • Exclusion, isolation or marginalization
  • Being treated differently from co-workers
  • Excessive monitoring or micro-management
  • Being held to a more stringent standard than those in your work-group

Who is Involved in Bullying in the Workplace?

Basically, anyone can become a perpetrator of this kind of workplace abuse. The abusive behavior of workplace bullying can be initiated and/or perpetrated by anyone in the workplace. Often, a bullying victim is initially targeted by supervisors or managers and then co-workers may follow suit in order to stay in the good graces of management. Fear of being the next target can also play a role in colleague bullying. In any case, workplace bullying is wrong and in some cases, can be illegal and/or criminal behavior.

How to Spot Signs of Corporate Abuse

Victims of corporate mistreatment may respond in a number of ways. Almost anyone can spot the behavioral signs of corporate level employee abuse. Victimized employees may display many signs that are unusual or sudden. Such signs may include:

  • An increase in absences or sick days
  • A sudden rise in disciplinary actions
  • Failure to meet workplace goals
  • Repeated requests for transfers
  • A notable change in morale

Everyone has a responsibility to report observed abuse in the workplace. Tolerating or ignoring a colleague being bullied only contributes to the problem. Joining in on the targeting, in some cases, can be illegal and sometimes, may even be a criminal offense. Workplace abuse must be taken seriously before it escalates and becomes a safety issue.