Bully Free At Work: Surprising Facts You Need To Know About Workplace Bullying

Today our posting is by guest author Valerie Cade, who is a world-wide authority and speaker on workplace bullying and author of Bully Free at Work™. Since some upset customers are bullies, we thought this article would be useful to you.

Many people ask, “How is Workplace Bullying different from working with difficult people, and what exactly is workplace bullying anyway?”

Workplace bullying is repeated, deliberate, disrespectful behavior by one or more people toward another for their own gratification, which in turn harms the target.

  • Bullying is deliberate, not accidental.
  • Bullying is always disrespectful with intent.
  • Bullying results in gratification for the bully, where the target feels severely disrespected.
  • Difficult people are not necessarily out to harm another; they are out to protect their own needs. Therefore, if you can reason with a difficult person in order to show good will for their needs, they may change. A bully will not change.

Workplace bullying occurs in every country of the world, and one out of six people will report having being bullied in their lifetime. Statistics would be even higher if employees were more aware of what workplace bullying actually is.

Stress is the result of unmanaged exposure to workplace bullying. The fear, uncertainty, doubt and emotional devastation that result from being bullied plays out frequently in a target’s emotional, mental and physical abilities.

According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, the top health consequences are:

  1. Severe anxiety (94%)
  2. Sleep disruption (84%)
  3. Loss of concentration (82%)

As a result, the top consequences for an organization are:

  1. Good morale (a positive culture) is traded for a fearful culture where people become hesitant, less free and less open.
  2. Teamwork will deteriorate into group-work or individual efforts.
  3. The agreeable, cooperative and supportive environment becomes hostile, secretive and dead.

So, how can workplace bullying be stopped and prevented?

  1. The first step is an educated workforce. What workplace bullying is, how it occurs, who are likely to be targets and bullies. In addition, systems and accountabilities need to be put in place to protect and create the kind of workplace culture that is respectful.
  2. The second step is to empower employees to create and enforce workplace-bullying policies that protect a respectful workplace, and hold a bullying culture accountable to becoming a respectful culture.

We know that people want to be treated with respect. Workplace bullying demeans the individual and destroys the trust needed to do high quality work.
Workplace bullying can be stopped, but it must not rest only on the target’s shoulders to stop this behavior. Stopping workplace bullying is everyone’s responsibility. Upper management must use their authority to ensure that a respectful workplace exists.

We want to help you eliminate bullying from your workplace.

Together we can make the workplace a welcoming environment for you and your co-workers alike.


To receive your free weekly tip to stop workplace bullying click here.

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8 Comments on “Bully Free At Work: Surprising Facts You Need To Know About Workplace Bullying”

  1. Irene Says:

    This is a great article and yes, workplace bullying is a huge ‘silent’ problem! I have read Val’s book Bully Free at Work and it helped me to take on the bully and feel better about myself once again. Thanks for addressing this important matter!

  2. ABC-AntiBullyingCrusador Says:

    Excellent article! Workplace bullying and mobbing is likely the largest hidden expense in business today. It takes such a toll in so many ways as your article states. Lets all
    learn to recognize it, name it and end workplace bullying and mobbing together! ABC

  3. rex norman Says:

    i,m a safety officer at a very busy worksite,my co ordinator is a 6ft 2, approx 300 pound bully,every one is intimanated by him. since i,m the s/o i feel its my responsibility to try and stop this.hes already trying to pick me apart and find ways to terminate me, but i keep a very good log book,things are realy unfolding fast ,it already cost me one day of work.this guy has been reported to higher authority in the company, but no response yet. this guy came into my office screamin and cursing and dictating to me, i stood my ground and kept very calm ,that seemed to realy set him off the edge. if i could get some feed back i would be so grateful, thanks

    • Rick Lawrence Says:

      Rex, You have a classic overt bully boss and you need to bring him to heel. It’s very simple to do and there are many ways. Here’s one – video him acting badly. Set the guy up, it sounds like he’s not that hard to get spinning, and have someone else he pushes around video it. Post it on youtube and email the link to everyone in the company.

      Trust me, upper management is not going to do anything with a simple complaint. HR’s job is to protect the company from lawsuits by the employees. I you want some more “realistic” and useful advice let me know.

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