Are you the Bully in your Workplace?

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May 23, 2016
BullyingBullying is common in school and college but cases of office bullying are not uncommon either.

Today, every workplace has a bully or two and it is your duty as the leader or executive to get him or them in line. It is your duty to control and make sure that the work environment is healthy and comfortable for everyone without the fear of one person or two people. Bullies can go to the extent of contaminating the environment such that employees start quitting. But, have you ever thought that you could also be the bully in your workplace? Of course, you may not realize it yet but it is ideal to do some analysis and find out whether you are bullying everyone inadvertently.

Warning Signs

Read the warning signs to begin with. There are a few classic signs that hint that you are the bully.

  • You debate with the leadership team a little too often. There is barely a time when you and the leadership team actually come to a mutual agreement.
  • People simply nod along with your opinions.
  • People don’t really like working with you.
  • You love finding faults in others.
  • The bad news does not come to you directly. In other words, the reports that come to you do not directly show the bad news. You have to unearth it yourself.
  • You love your position or a particular deal or idea a little too much.
  • Disagreement with your views ticks you off.
  • You start blaming everyone and anyone in sight when something happens.
  • You think no one can be as smart as you are.
  • You rarely get yourself to accept that you did something wrong. You rarely apologize for your mistakes.

These signs don’t directly point out that you are a bully. Do some evaluation to make it clear. Not all points may be true for everyone. Even if a few of these signs match your scenario, it is advisable that you evaluate.

If you have come to the conclusion that you are office bully, you may be worried. You don’t really have to. There are things you can do in order to improve.

Step Number One – Charter

Come up with a written charter explaining behaviors and values for the workplace. Include expectations as well on the individual and the team level. When you do this and follow it yourself, you will be able to understand everyone better, eliminating the bullying problem.

Step Number Two – Change your Perspective

Do some more self-analysis and change your perspective. Look at yourself from another person’s point of view and ask yourself whether that is how you want them to be perceived. This exercise will be an eye-opener for you.

Remember that some bullying activity may also be against the law. Do this assessment for yourself and assess your employees as well so that you weed out the bullying behavior entirely. If you have any doubts, consult an employment lawyer to be on the safe side.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Bullying is completely unacceptable in the workplace even if it comes from you. Before it is too late, evaluate your own behavior and see if you are the office bully. Understanding yourself and stepping into others’ shoes will give you a clear idea of your behavior. Make improvements likewise.

Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] /

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