Do you have a sinking feeling that people are talking about you behind your back at work and making you look bad to your boss? If so, you are probably right. Workplace bullies are more common than people want to believe, and a majority of people experience workplace bullying firsthand at some point during their careers. You may be a victim of bullying and not even realize it.
In the workplace, bullies undermine your productivity, self-esteem and the integrity of the company. By keeping bullies in check, you can benefit your company as well as yourself. Learning how to deal with a bully in the workplace and understanding your options is important to find resolve. And if worse comes to worst, you can always pack your bags and find a new job.
Bullying takes place in several forms. It may not be immediately obvious to you that you are the victim of a bully, so here are some common roles taken by bullies.
No matter how you are being bullied, there are some important strategies you need to implement to resolve the situation.
In some cases, especially in large companies with complex hierarchies, your boss may actually be a bully. This is because your boss feels threatened by your performance and worries that you may be promoted into his or her position one day. If possible, go up three levels and express your concerns to someone who is not involved with the bullies. Higher authorities who are not in the middle of your workplace drama can often see the situation more clearly and will see your stellar work performance as an asset to the company.
Finally, when all else fails, be prepared to find a new job. While you are still at the company, polish your resume so that you will have an easier time finding a new job. You can also collect business cards from good clients who appreciate your work and may have positions for you at their own companies. Finding a new job is a great opportunity to branch out into a similar field of work or a completely different career that you have always wanted to try. Plus, your experiences with bullies at your old job will make you better equipped to prevent and handle bullying at your new job.