All about workplace bullying
What is bullying / The behaviour of bullies
Workplace bullying is very common, it can happen to anyone in any type of workplace. There are many varying definitions for workplace bullying. Within Human Resources most definitions are similar to this - workplace bullying is repeated, unreasonable and unwelcome behaviour directed towards an employee or group of employees, and creates a health and safety risk to a person’s mental or physical health. Most of the varying definitions include these four key elements, bullying is:
a workplace conflictv
enduring and repeated
inappropriate and possibly aggressive
results in physical and/or psychological distress
The Behaviour of Bullies
There are many ways in which a bully can upset, intimidate or undermine a colleague. Many of the common bullying tactics are broken down into the following categories: verbal, non-verbal, performance related and practical jokes. Bullies may intentionally or unintentionally use the tactics listed below to hurt and/or humiliate people.
Repeatedly calling a colleague by an insulting name or a nickname they do not like.
Talking about a colleague’s performance, character, or conduct behind their back in order to discredit them.
Deliberately choosing to reprimand a colleague in public, this may involve discussing errors they have made with the intention of discrediting them.
Looks or gestures that express disapproval or disrespect when a colleague enters the room or says something.
Expressing aggression by adopting an intimidating posture, clenching fists, or glaring at a colleague in a threatening way.
Interfering with a colleague’s workplace or personal belongings with the intent of causing them distress or interfering with their work. For example, intentionally knocking over coffee or hiding folders that they need.
Sending insulting or offensive text messages faxes or emails to a colleague.
Sending text messages, faxes, or emails to other people in a colleague’s workplace or professional network which are offensive or intended to discredit them.
Leaving offensive or intimidating messages on a colleague’s voicemail.
Using social networking sites to discredit or offend a colleague.
Continual and unwarranted criticism of a colleague’s performance or workplace conduct.
Giving a colleague pointless tasks to do that have nothing to do with their job.
Intentionally setting a colleague up to fail by giving them an unreasonable amount of work to do.
Intentionally withholding information that a colleague needs in order to do their job.
Continually arranging meetings at a time which is inconvenient for a colleague in order to leave them out.
Persistently ignoring or disrespectfully disagreeing with a colleague’s contribution in meetings.
Practical jokes can be done in good fun, however, in some instances they cross over the line of good humour. Practical jokes that humiliate or physically hurt a colleague are acts of bullying.
If after reading these examples you think you might be a target of bullying, but are unsure consider the following questions.
Would most people find the behaviour unacceptable?
Are you spending a lot of time thinking about how the person is treating you and seeking support to cope with their treatment of you? If so you could be a target of bullying. Even if you are not technically being bullied, but are worrying or thinking a lot about how people treat you at work, seeing a counsellor could assist you manage stressful situations.
Getting help with workplace bullying
It’s good to know that help with workplace bullying is available. Counselling or coaching can help you deal with the effects of bullying and help you decide on the best course of action to deal with the situation.
Did you realise research has shown that the relationship between you and your counsellor is one of the most important elements for a successful outcome? How do you know if the counsellor you find will be the best fit for you?
Select Counsellors provides a unique client counsellor matching service to ensure you see the right counsellor for you, first time. We have a pool of highly trained Sydney based counsellors, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists and will match you with the right therapist based on important information collected in a personalised assessment about you and your needs. At Select Counsellors our key priority is Finding you the One. To book an assessment click here or call on 1300 123 680 to speak in person with a Select Counsellor.