Bullying in the workplace
November 17, 2020
Bullying is a workplace issue.
When you were growing up, did you ever imagine this would be a reality? Statistics on bullying range from 19% to 60% of people having experienced this behaviour at work. It’s easy to recognize the blatant bullying – the yelling, nasty comments and jokes at someone’s expense. But what we sometimes don’t recognize as bullying are the callous remarks in meetings, rolled eyes, gossiping and spreading of rumours. Remember – the majority of your communication is not what you are saying, but how you are saying it.
For those who are a victim or bystander of bullying, it takes awareness and courage to change culture, confront someone who is out-of-line and/or to strive to create a healthier climate. But it’s crucial that you don’t ignore the bullying or wait. If you address the issue right away, you don’t give it the opportunity to grow into something even more serious.
Victims of bullying can quickly feel isolated, so it’s important to reach out to someone you may suspect is being bullied and remind them that they’re not alone. Let them know that they are essential and matter. Be kind. Accepting someone into your crew who has felt excluded can boost their self-esteem and help counteract the damaging effects of bullying. You might even find yourself a new friend.
Don’t be a passive bystander to bullying. Stand up for those around you and help put an end to the bullying. Even if you don’t feel like you’re able to stand up directly to a bully, report it to someone who can and discuss how it should be handled. Letting bullying slide by only gives that person permission to keep going.
Encourage people you work with to act towards others in a respectful and professional manner. Bullying won’t magically end overnight, but if we all do our part, we can create a far-reaching ripple effect. Know that your voice and your kindness matters, even if it feels small. Support each other. Choose kindness.