Bullying, a word that takes us back to the playground. Physical fights, teasing and isolation. Sound familiar? While bullying in schools are the main subject when discussing the topic – what about bullying in the workplace?

By definition bullying is physical intimidation and verbal aggression but there are so many others that are overlooked. Let’s have a look at some of them:

  • Sabotaging someone else’s work
  • Someone else constantly taking credit for your work
  • Setting one up for failure (by setting unrealistic deadlines, etc)
  • Unfair and unwarranted criticism
  • Undermining someone’s abilities
  • Exclusion from events, important meetings, emails, etc
  • Spreading malicious rumours

Dealing with a bully is quite difficult especially if they are your boss or they are in some kind of authority. Here are a few tips to get the bully caught, red handed!

Keep records

Keep records of all incidents that have happened. Log the details, dates and witnesses and use direct quotations of what the person said as far as possible. All of this information will help you in the long run to take action.

Talk to the bully

Having an honest conversation to the bully is a great start. But, do it with the presence of another employee to stand by you. Perhaps the issue is the way management is set up and there needs to be a change, express that.

Do some research

Find out what your companies policy is on bullying. Make sure it matches up with the labour laws of the country. Here is a link: https://www.labourguide.co.za/general/374-harassment-in-the-workplace

Get assistance

Speak to your other co-workers, perhaps they feel the same way and they are also victims of bullying. Find anyone that can stand with you in terms of advocating against bullying in the workplace and talk to them.

Don’t be quiet about it

Fight your battle. Do not take it laying down. Being bullying definitely stirs up some emotions and calmness is hard to find in, but try to be as calm and collected as possible when dealing with the bully. Tell them how they make you feel, perhaps they are unaware of your feelings towards it.

Do not befriend the bullying

Being friends with your bully is a bad idea. Stay away from them.