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How to Handle a Workplace Bully

Practical tips on what to do!

According to a recent poll, 37% of workers in the U.S. reported that they’ve been bullied at work (Workplace Bullying Institute and Zogby International). 
Another survey found that 29% of HR executives had one or more employees in their workplaces resign due to workplace bullying (Challenger Gray & Christmas). 
Between 12% and 18% of psychological-based disability claims are directly related to bullying!!

Staggering!

Apparently bullying in businesses of all sizes is very common today. 

It often begins with cliques in the workplace, or managers with anger issues and bad tempers.

It takes a toll on morale, to the point where employees are so disengaged in their work environment that they are going through the motions.


So how are you supposed to handle a workplace bully????


1.Recognize the problem-The problem takes many shapes and forms. It might be verbal abuse from a coworker, such as swearing and intimidation, snide comments or unrelenting teasing. It could be someone taking credit for your work or trying to make you look incompetent. If it is the boss who’s the problem, bullying can mean shouting, constant criticism, the creation of impossible expectations and the shifting of those expectations at the last minute to set you up to fail.
2. Document it -Write down exactly what is happening, the time, dates and locations (and witnesses). This journal should detail specific volatile behavior and give an explanation of what started it.
3. Gather objective evidence of the offensive behavior, whether it’s chat logs, email records, and/or in-person witness accounts, and report this offence to an authority figure.
4. Talk to the bully- If and only if you feel confident and physically secure, have a one-on-one talk with the bully. Be positive and polite. Calmly explain that it’s not OK for them to treat you this way.
5. Take your complaint to a higher power-Bullies can be tenacious and unreasonable. Your first line of defense is to talk to your manager, assuming he or she is not the culprit. Human Resources will be your next option and if that is unsuccessful, you may to make your bosses boss aware of the situation.

It may surprise you to learn that workplace bullying isn’t actually illegal (although legislation has been proposed in 25 states).
If you’ve concluded that you’re being bullied, targeted for schedule changes or harassed by a boss or coworkers due to race, sex, national origin or other statuses or because of your affiliations you should report it to your employer’s human resources department right away.
If there is no corrective action, or if you are retaliated against, it may be time to talk to an employment lawyer or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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