We don’t go to work to get bullied. Many of us had enough of that in the playground at school!
Yet, according to a 2018 survey of 1229 working professionals, only 4% of those spoken to had never experienced bullying. That means 96% of people had, some at the hands of a bad boss, and others experiencing bullying by a peer or subordinate.
Chances are then, you may have experienced bullying at work yourself, and for all we know, you might be experiencing workplace bullying at the moment.
So, how do you handle a workplace bully?
There are a number of strategies you could take, and these include the following.
#1: Stand up to them
If you have the courage to voice your protests, then do so. Tell the bully to stop whatever they are doing and let them know that you will take further action if they continue. Be careful in your approach, however, as you need to keep your calm. Should you retaliate physically or give out verbal abuse yourself, know that this might not help your cause if you decide to take the matter further.
#2: Note down bullying incidents
Document everything, from the type of bullying that has taken place, to the times that it happened. Ask for comments from witnesses too, and include them in your documentation. Should the bully refuse to let up, you then have the details you need to hand to give to your employer or a legal firm.
#3: Seek support
Is the bullying only directed at you or are others being bullied too? If it’s the latter, then you could band together with fellow victims and work on an action plan together. So, you might confront the bully as a group, or you could all approach somebody in a management position to voice your feelings. If you’re the only victim, there might still be people you can talk to at work. If so, seek their support, and ask them to either confront the bully with you or to have your back when speaking to your employer.
#4: Speak to somebody in a higher position
As we have suggested, report what is going on to your employer. It is their legal duty to support you, and if they neglect their duties, they could be faced with a hefty fine if taken to an employment tribunal. If your boss is the bully, of course, then speak to your HR department or to anybody with authority over your boss, and seek their assistance in the matter.
#5: Seek legal help
If discrimination is the primary cause of bullying – be that because of your gender, age, race, sexual orientation, or disability – then you have the right to take your case to a Civil Rights Law Group. You can also seek legal help for any other types of bullying, so do a Google search to find the relevant professional near you. This is a last resort option in most cases, but it’s a must, especially if your health and wellbeing have been put at risk because of the bullying you have received.
Workplace bullying should not be tolerated, so don’t feel as if you have to put up with it. Follow our suggestions, and seek further information online on the steps you can take to deal with the bully in your workplace. Let us know your thoughts and experiences with us too, and if you have any tips for our readers, be sure to share them with us.