Workplace Solutions: What to Do If a Bully Targets You


Bullies aren’t just for schoolyards. Unbelievably, it exists in the adult world, in the workplace. Most companies have a “schoolyard bully,” and they may not be obvious to the management. If you’re the victim of bullying, you don’t have to take it. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions that will solve the problem quickly and efficiently.


Identifying Bullying


The first thing you must do is identify the bully. This is usually pretty easy to do, but may be more difficult if the person who’s bullying you is engaging in passive-aggressive behaviour. Sometimes it’s just hard to tell if someone is trying to sabotage you at work.


Most of the time, however, it’s pretty obvious. An estimated 64 percent of people who are victims of bullying leave their job or are terminated Companies, like Pace Henley, can help you investigate a problem at work. Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to figure out a solution.


Seeking Management Help


The first obvious step is to approach management with the problem. This might initially seem like you’re running to a superior because you can’t “handle” things on your own. But, consider this: If you do take matters into your own hands, and things go wrong, or someone ends up injured, you may lose your job.


Make it clear that you are having a problem with someone and you would like advice on how to handle it. Your boss may tell you to do whatever you need to do, or he may look into it himself. Of course, many bullies will deny that they are doing anything and will double down on their bullying when the boss isn’t looking.


Make it clear to your superior that you are worried about retaliation for coming to management. If management cannot help you, or believes it is best for you to handle the situation yourself, your best tactic is to be firm with bullies.


Bullies tend to bully because they can get away with it. Sure, there may be many underlying reasons for the bullying, but ultimately, they choose you as a target because they can get away with it. Show them that you are not a target.


This doesn’t mean you have to become aggressive. You could be confrontational, but in a civil manner. Make it clear that you do not appreciate being bullied and that you will not tolerate their behaviour. Really, you will want management’s approval before you do anything drastic, but the goal is to put the bully in his or her place.


Document everything that the bully has done. Video every instance of bullying, if possible. If things become violent, you may need to stand up for yourself and defend yourself. This is the most unfortunate aspect of bullying – that it can become violent.


Some bullies will continue to push the boundaries to see just how much they can get away with. At the same time, most workplaces do not condone violence. This is why you essentially need management’s approval to make the bully stop. It may take you ganging up on the bully with your friends or management helping you by isolating you from the other person or terminating the bully.


If management will not stand behind you, it may be time to find another job. As hard as that may seem, it may be your only option.


What If Management Is The Problem?


Sometimes, management is the problem. This is the worst of all worlds, and almost always results in the employee leaving the employer. But, there is one thing you can do and that is sue the employer, assuming there is real harm that has been done.


Consult with a lawyer to discuss your options. You may actually win-over your employer by showing just how expensive it is to keep that person on board and part of the team. If you cannot sue because you don’t have a case, your only option may be to leave and find other employment.

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