That bullying is not a nice thing, is a truth common to the entire universe; and yet, unfortunately, most working people have had to experience it. Sometimes singularly and sometimes in a group, sometimes by being the culprit and sometimes by being the victim; most people have at least one such story of bullying they could narrate. One noteworthy point here is that the culprits of bullying have themselves been a victim at some time in their career; efforts need to be made to stop this unacceptable behaviour. And if you cannot stop it, I am here to suggest some ways of how to handle a bully at work.
First get a clear and complete understanding of the situation – you should know the difference between a joke and a bullying situation do not get confused between the two. If it is the former one you could choose the option of ‘let go’, that will help you work well. However, if you do think that it is the latter one, then you need to go to the next step.
Document the incident – once you realise that it is not just one time you have been bullied and not a fun episode, you should keep a written track with various slots to be filled. Here you will need to fill out – who is or are involved in bullying you when it was done, the names of anyone who may have witnessed it. This serves as you’re a validation for the next step.
Bring the incident out in the open – a person suffering a crime repeatedly and not raising a voice against it is guilty in a greater way than the actual culprit. Therefore, bring the incident or incidents to the notice of the people in power, to nip the problem at its root. Contrary to common belief that you can be bullied only by a boss or people of similar standing, the truth is, your colleagues are equally capable of bullying you. This is a worse situation because you will have to work day in and day out, around these same people. So, the best thing is, to get the cat out of the bag and deal with it.
Seek help from a higher authority – in your lesson of how to handle a bully at work; your next action will be to approach a higher power to solve this problem, in case the person you are fighting against is someone senior or even your boss. Take legal help if you think it is required; there are laws against such bullying, so consult with an attorney and ask him to help you take the appropriate actions.
Don’t stress – the victory of a bully lies in successfully insulting or irritating you, hence if you are capable of keeping your cool and not getting affected by the comments, they will not make a second attempt. Stressing out only increases your blood pressure and gives them more reason to bully you further. If you can eliminate the stress, be calm and take the necessary actions to curb their irresponsible behaviour, you will emerge victorious and content.
Talk it out with co-workers – if you think that you have someone in your workplace who is your confidante, then perhaps you can narrate the incident to that person, before approaching a higher authority. See if you get any reasonable plan of action, but do not take it as the ultimate one. You will have to weigh out the seriousness of the situation and then take the final call.
Face the bully – finally, one of the best ways on how to handle a bully at work is a confrontation. Go and speak directly to him/her as to why they behaved in the particular way they did and don’t come back without giving him/her a piece of your mind. Say, for instance, a bully interrupts your comments in a meeting, ask him directly what does he suggest. Often this makes them nervous, and they take a step back.
Bullying has been found to have far-reaching impacts as well, such as depression in a person; it is thus best that you attend to this adult tantrum at its onset. Loss of concentration, deterioration in productivity and an unhappy work environment are some of the side effects of bullying. Therefore, instead of keeping an incident of bully within yourself, fearing that you may be further humiliated is a wrong thought process; bring it out in the open and dealing with it firmly, that is the right attitude, and precisely what you should do. So, go tell the ‘bad guys’ at work, “whose their Daddy”!
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