Bullying is a type of psychological pressure expressed in aggressive harassment and humiliation of a person. Every day millions of people are bullied in various areas of professional activity: in teams, organizations, groups, offices, etc. Bullying is particularly common among students in secondary and tertiary vocational education.
Let’s talk about bullying in the corporate environment, as a result of which people, desperate of such attitude from colleagues and management, seriously consider changing their place of work.
Types of bullying
Traditionally, bullying is expressed in a disdainful, deliberately arrogant and often boorish attitude towards a certain employee. The aggressor (buller) tries to prove his target’s incompetence by his actions or words, to expose his weaknesses. Bully is fine with using intimidation, humiliation and insulting, often groundless, accusations. The aggressor does not necessarily have to be higher in rank (vertical bullying or bossing), but can often be an ordinary colleague (horizontal bullying).
Bullying by management
A supervisor who uses bullying as a method of management usually conceals his or her professional inadequacy and often personal difficulties. He or she “takes it easy” on the person below him or her in the career ladder. Such a leader himself is the owner of various fears and complexes, such as the inferiority complex or, conversely, superiority, whose roots lie again in the same sense of inferiority.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to resist this kind of pressure, as a person does not receive support from the team. In the best case, colleagues will observe neutrality, so as not to exacerbate relations with the boss, in the worst case – can take the side of the management, thereby aggravating the position of the victim.
In this case, it is not necessary to seek and prove something. In 9 cases out of 10 you will lose this battle – the authority of the boss, also supported by the support of the team, will not give you any chance. It is better to leave until the tense situation has not led to a nervous breakdown. This is not cowardice, but common sense and self-respect.
Bullying by colleagues
Bullying of one person by a group of people is called mobbing and is another kind of bullying. Beginners often experience such pressure from the team, but it is not uncommon for experienced employees to be subjected to psychological violence. In many ways, the reasons lie in the connivance of the management, and sometimes such actions are even encouraged.
Mobbing causes include:
- Envy towards the individual (his or her extraordinary abilities, talent, youth, external appeal, etc..);
- High level of competition in the team;
- The desire to subdue, humiliate the newcomer, to impose his own rules on him;
- Fear that the new employee will be a more competent specialist;
Also, the causes of mobbing may be deficiencies and behavior of the employee: unprofessionalism, inconsistency of the position held, boasting, desire to stand out from the crowd, ignoring the comments, snitching, etc.
Bullying in all its manifestations clearly indicates an unhealthy climate within the team. There is always an initiator of the conflict, who will be followed by other people. Someone out of a sense of solidarity or boredom, and someone out of fear of being called a “white crow” or simply taking the place of the victim.
What should someone who is bullied do?
The ways to resist persecution will vary from situation to situation. There are several universal ways to resist persecution:
- Do not panic or show your weakness. Bully will feel your fear and only increase the pressure on you.
- If the reason for the collective hostility is your lack of professional aptitude, it makes sense to increase your knowledge in the professional sphere. Work in such a way that no one dares to reproach you.
- Find like-minded people. Maybe there is at least one person in the team who sympathizes you. It is likely that such an employee has been in your place in due time and does not approve of what is happening to you now.
- Find the”shepherd”. Talk to the instigator, try to understand their motives and reasons for aggression against you. Maybe (and often it is) he is the owner of a whole bouquet of psychological issues.
And always remember that bullying by management or employees is extremely inefficient and usually leads to high turnover of staff. Think about whether it is worth staying in such a place at all? Maybe it’s time to leave this “serpentarium” and find a really decent job, where your professionalism and talents will lead to success and career growth, not to frustration and daily battles for survival?