Are you feeling stressed getting up in the morning to get to work because you know you have to deal with someone who has been constantly making you feel incompetent? Have you lost sleep wondering if you can make it through the next day? Do you feel someone has been picking on you particularly to belittle you?
We have all heard of school bullying, workplace discrimination (i.e. pay inequality etc.) or even violence. What is workplace bullying and where we can draw the line between “difficulty to work with” and “workplace bullying”?
Workplace Bullying Institution, WBI, is the first and only organization that integrates all aspects of workplace bullying including self-help advice for individuals, coaching, training for professionals and even legislative advocacy. WBI sets some guideline for you to exam if you are being bullied at work that you are not knowing.Below is the definition:
Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is :
Threatening, humiliating, or intimidating, or
Work interference — sabotage — which prevents work from getting done, or
Is driven by perpetrators' need to control the targeted individual(s).
Is initiated by bullies who choose their targets, timing, location, and methods.
Is a set of acts of commission (doing things to others) or omission (withholding resources from others)
Requires consequences for the targeted individual
Escalates to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily or through coercion.
Undermines legitimate business interests when bullies' personal agendas take precedence over work itself.
Is akin to domestic violence at work, where the abuser is on the payroll.
Now if you think you are fit into this definition, what can you do about it? 3 steps you can consider to take:
Name and label it
I am always amazed by how powerful in any communication name and label for what it is. No naming it is the license to allow it to continue. Choose what you want to call it and stop blaming yourself for what happened externally that you can not control.
Build a case against workplace bullying
Start documenting what happened and having a conversation with your employer. You might think that your manager will side with the bully due to power play etc, having documentation will help you in either circumstances, whether your employer helps, or not. If your employer needs your help to build a better environment, this will help your manager tremendously. If not, you have documentation to move onto next step
Expose the bully
Give your employer one chance and expose the bully with business case of they are detrimental to business. Avoid discussing the emotional impact to yourself as it will distort the perception that it is more of your emotion issue, rather than a fact of bullying taken place at work. Start looking for a new position if workplace bully becoming so stressful to impact your day to day work performance
Workplace bullying can be confusing and hard to identify. With the guidance here you will have better understanding of root cause to your anxiety. Please remember that you are the target for the bully for whatever reason, power, position, race, sex etc. You are not the problem and given the problem. Stand up for yourself will benefit your career in long run.
I highly encourage your to visit WBI website for more insights on workplace bullying. Great resources and tools available. I can’t tell you how it helped me to gain clarity for my career as wells as the steps I learned to use.