Most of us thought that bullying only happens in a school playground. But the thing is, bullying is increasingly present in many offices. Yes, even grown adults can be targets of bullying in the office. Sadly, many offices are still unable to handle this issue effectively. This is why you should be aware and proactive enough to do something about it if you’re experiencing this kind of negative and harmful behavior.
What is workplace bullying?
Workplace bullying can be exhibited in different ways. It can also be done by different people. It could be a micromanaging boss who makes you work late nights just because he can. It could be a friendly coworker who secretly uses dirty tactics to sabotage your work. It could be a pessimistic supervisor who points out flaws in every single thing you do just to make you feel bad about yourself.
How can you address workplace bullying?
There are several things you can do in order to put an end to workplace bullying. However, it can be a tricky issue to handle. You see, most offices don’t really have an anti-bullying policy to protect its employees. So if you’re thinking of taking actions, you need to carefully consider what the best thing to do is.
The most common method is perhaps having a discussion with your manager or supervisor. After you have documented evidence, such as emails or instant messages, you can go to your supervisor and inform him or her that you are being targeted by a workplace bully. This method can work provided that your manager is able to be impartial and unbiased. This could probably be effective if you have a stable working relationship with your manager.
But what if your manager is the one bullying you? You’d probably think of going to the HR department to file a complaint. Many people do this. However, be careful. Keep in mind that the HR department does not have an obligation to protect you in this situation. In addition to that, they do not have the power to make decisions or to implement a possible solution. This method can even work against you. If the HR department conveys this message to your bully manager, then he or she might retaliate. This might sound unfair and unprofessional, but this is usually the case.
A better approach
There is one more thing that you can try, and many people have found this solution to be more effective. Try surrounding yourself with other leaders. Develop stable working relationships with other supervisors and managers. Interact with them and make sure that the bully sees this. Make sure that the bully is aware that you have access to these influential people. You’re not doing this to ask the higher management to reprimand your manager. You are doing this to put yourself in a better decision. Your goal here is to show your manager that you are not powerless. Hopefully, this approach works for you.