Friday, 14 November 2014

How to Identify an Office Bully?

It may sound clichéd but the saying you need to love your work to lead a happy life is absolutely true. One big hindrance to enjoying your job can be the unwanted presence of an office bully. A bully is any person in the workplace that makes your life miserable with constant criticism, interference, verbal abuse and/or intimidating behavior. Many a times, you are being bullied without even realizing it. Unable to give it a name, you accept it as normal working conditions even though it makes it excessively difficult for you to perform your job efficiently. Here are 5 sure shot ways to identify an office bully;

  1. Constant Criticism: Constructive feedback and criticism is usually encouraged. It is an important tool to tell employees how they can improve. However, it is important that the criticism is justified and not just a way of insulting your employee. If your boss is constantly belittling your work or making personal comments about you that have no relation with your work, he may in effect be bullying you. Phrases such as "even an illiterate can do a better job than this'' or ''that's really dumb of you'' are unprofessional and inappropriate.
  2. Menacing Behavior: If a coworker is constantly trying to put you down by contradicting everything you say or makes fun of you and your work, it is an indication of him bullying you. He may also try to spread negative things about you or interfere when you are speaking to superiors. He may do this openly or do this in a way that others do not find out. Either ways, his actions make it hard for you to perform your job.
  3. Sabotage Your Work: They may try to create problems for you that would make it difficult for you to meet deadlines. They can do this by not submitting work-related reports on time, taking unwarranted holidays or simply showing inefficiency to slow you down. Some bullies also try to monopolize office resources for unnecessarily long spells to cause problems for their peers who they may feel are a threat to their career growth. For example, taking unusually long to make copies when they know you need to make copies quickly etc.
  4. Jumping into Conversations: If you have someone around you who just cannot see two people conversing without interrupting them and adding their own bit to the conversation, it may be a sign of bullish behavior. A common problem with bullies is that they feel the need to assert their superior rank and knowledge and may often achieve this by disregarding what the others have to say.
  5. Private Harassment: Some bullies operate from a safe cocoon, i.e. they sit behind their desk and plot and scheme and try to bully people around them using cheap tricks such as blackmail. They try to dig up dirt on you to scare you with it, intimidating you into following their commands.

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