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The Office Bully Will Find You!

Office Bullies Will Find You

There is a new study that has been released by CareerBuilder which spells out in crystal clear terms that the office bully is alive and well and working in a workplace near you.
Perhaps this is a topic that you don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about but the results of the survey (conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder)  once again demonstrate that workplace bullying is something that we need to pay much more attention to.
You can find the study here

New Study Says People Don’t Confront the Office Bully

The study asked over 3,300 full-time, private sector employees from a variety of industries and company sizes.
The findings of the study illustrated many aspects of workplace bullying and highlighted the fact that the victims of the bullying are found within every demographic of the workplace. Regardless of their education, age, race, income and level of authority within the organization, the survey found victims from within the responses.
The findings also pointed to the fact that many of the victims did not confront the bullies or even report the instances of bullying to supervisors or managers. This lack of response only served to prolong the situation for the bullies within the workplace until eventually many of the victims of the bullying left to find work in other (and hopefully safer) workplaces.
This statistic is played out again and again within workplaces where many employees silently endure the tirades and taunting behaviour of the bullying co-worker or supervisor. Rather than telling the bully (or anyone) about the behaviour they are suffering from, they vote with their feet: right out of the door of the business.
Of those who responded that they had confronted the bully, just less than 50% of them reported that the bullying had ceased, while the remainder stated it either made no difference at all, and some even reported that the behaviour had worsened. No legislation requires that the bullied employee MUST confront the bully, but we know that this is the best approach to take if the employee feels competent and confident enough to do so.

Tips for having that Difficult Conversation:

  1. First of all, thank the other person for agreeing to discuss the situation
  2. Speak calmly
  3. Explain in detail what the other person has done that offended you and provide specific examples of their behaviour
  4. Stay focused on how the issue is impacting you in the workplace
  5. State your commitment to being part of the solution
  6. If the other person apologizes, accept the apology & thank them
  7. State your suggestion for how to resolve the situation
  8. Confirm the agreed-upon resolution and clarify what each of you will do to implement the resolution
  9. Finally, make certain that you thank the other person for their willingness to work on the change
  10. Keep notes, keep notes, keep notes.

Fiore Group Training offers training programs that teach employees and supervisors how to have “Difficult Conversations.”  Training available in-house, by e-learning, and in DVD Express Version.  Contact Karen Menzies at Fiore Group Training for more information at 604-990-5168 and or check out the training information here at


About the Author:

Phil Eastwood is a former London Bobby who brings a thirty-five year career in policing to his role as Senior Partner of Fiore Group Training, a recognized leader in training top North American organizations. Phil is lead author of workplace training courses in respectful workplace training, workplace violence employee training, and leadership training seminars.

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