Have you ever been in a situation where you were being bullied at work? Have you ever bullied someone at work? According to the Employee Law Alliance, as reported by The Little Pink Book, a newsletter from PinkMagazine.com, over 45% of workers report being harassed at work. Are you one of the people in that 45%?
How does one define harassment and/or bullying? Is it a certain look, harsh words, or physical contact? The article by Caroline Cox defines bullying as “anything from being sworn at, invalidly criticized and humiliated, to being excessively monitored.” Dictionary.com says bullying is to intimidate or domineer. It is important to realize that everyone’s interpretations of certain behaviors is different. It is even more essential to grasp that if you are being bullied at work, you are being overpowered. If you are bullying someone at work, you are ruining your professional reputation.
I once worked in a department where the testosterone levels where so high that the women felt harassed on a daily basis. Constant conversations about the dates the men went on, and how sexy their women were, led to high turnarounds in the department, as well as an uncomfortable environment. This in turn affected productivity and learning. At another job, my manager would storm through the department regularly just to startle people. In hindsite, I believe she was trying to assert her power. Unfortunately, all her behavior succeeded in doing was make people wonder why they tolerated her abuse.
Have you ever worked or are you currently working in an abusive environment? Have you tried to change it?
eHow.com lists five ways to tame the office bully:
- Keep a paper trail.
- Be clear with your abuser.
- Write a letter to the abuser.
- Go over the offender’s head in person.
- Contact the American Civil Liberties Union.
What else would you do if you were being bullied? Are there some situations where getting a new job is the only answer?