<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=290086984736480&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

4 Ways to Handle a Workplace Bully

May. 12, 2015 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
workplace bully


An alarming 75 percent of employees reported a loss of motivation due to the stress caused by an abrasive manager, according to a study by coaching firm Executive Confidante. As if that weren’t shocking enough, 44 percent of those surveyed actually left an employer because of workplace bullying. These statistics show how your company could be susceptible to the problem, but there are steps you can take to minimize or prevent the tension caused by a workplace bully.

Executive Confidante’s owner, Kalli Matsuhashi, specializes in identifying, preventing and eliminating workplace bullying. We asked her to explain four common methods of dealing with bullies as well as what business owners and employees might realistically expect from these tactics. Here’s what she had to say.

Working for an abrasive manager (AKA workplace bully) is almost always a very stressful and trying situation. Assuming the abrasive manager will continue their bullying ways, there are really only a few ways to minimize the resulting stress.

  1. Ignore the workplace bully. It's almost impossible to ignore an abrasive manager - they’re usually right on top of things, trying to intimidate people into better performance. One can try to ignore the bullying behavior and recognize that it isn't personal - it's usually a reflection of the manager feeling threatened or worried about demonstrating good results to those above him or her in the hierarchy. This is much easier said than done, however. Work to ignore the bullying behavior - by seeing it for what it is - but not the boss himself/herself.
  1. Isolate yourself from the workplace bully. Many people take this approach - 63% according to research by Christine Porath and Christine Pearson in their study on incivility in the workplace. This protects the individual from the wrath of the bullying boss, but has other consequences that in the end could cause the individual to lose his/her job. This approach reduces teamwork and collaboration, and ultimately leads to poorer job performance and lower productivity.
  1. Observe and implement strategies co-workers have used to deal with the workplace bully. It is the rare individual who is able to stand up to the abrasive manager and gain his or her respect to the point where the bullying no longer occurs. This means that the majority of people working for a bullying boss will have employed strategy one or two above - neither of which works very well. Observing others that have managed to either not get fired or to have proven able to somehow withstand the stress of the situation is a good idea - more likely than not, however, these long-term employees are suffering greatly and are unable to perform well. If the workplace bullying is a long-standing issue, the best remedy may be to leave the employer.
  1. Report the workplace bully to HR. The one obvious solution that has not been discussed as much is to report the issue to HR or other managers. This too is unlikely to lead to change, but at least draws some attention to the issue internally, and the more people speak up, the more likely real change will occur.

While the potential dangers of workplace bullying are very real and too complex to solve in a simple blog post, the tactics above represent common approaches to diffuse a negative situation. For a more nuanced look into the issue as well as in depth advice and answers to workplace bully FAQ, please watch Kalli’s free B.O.S.S. webinar - Workplace Bullying: How Much Is It Costing Your Company?

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board Worldwide

Related posts

How to Manage Your Mobile Workforce

Jul. 16, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The American workforce is changing the nature of “work” as we once knew it. The days when employees absolutely had to work at a desk, in an office, are long gone. While many businesses still insist...

CEOs Save Time by Learning to Say “No”

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
  Learn to Say No!    How many times in a day do people approach you or your gatekeeper with a request, suggestion or some other time-consuming appeal? Like many other business leaders, your first...

Save Time with Fewer (and More Productive) Meetings

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
For most companies, there’s no way around having meetings as a way to conduct day-to-day business. At the same time, it’s hard to find any CEO or business owner who doesn’t experience frustration at...

Differentiating Between “Urgent” and “Important” Saves You Time

Jun. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Urgent? Or important? Take a moment to look back on what you did today in your role as business owner or CEO. How much time was spent reacting to an urgent issue or crisis someone brought to you,...

A Quick Guide to More Efficient CEO Time Management

Jun. 27, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Most CEOs and business leaders understand on a gut level that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. They also know that time, (and the management of their time!), probably the...

Is it Time to Update Your Sexual Harassment Policy?

Jun. 26, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
 Revelations of sexual misconduct in the worlds of culture and business, as well as the rise of the #MeToo movement, should serve as a clear warning to CEOs and business owners. In today’s...

The Right Feedback Can Boost Employee Retention

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Among the many skills a CEO or business owner should possess is the ability to provide constructive, meaningful feedback. Employees at every level of an organization want to do the best job possible,...

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open...

Is “Emotional Marketing” the Best Way to Connect with Customers?

Apr. 24, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
According to the Small Business Association, “All humans feel four basic emotions: happy, sad, afraid/surprised, and angry/disgusted.” Of course, no business wants to spur feelings of disgust or...

5 Tips for Monitoring Your Competitor’s Marketing Strategy

Apr. 23, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
 No matter how unique their product or service, every business has a competitor (or more than one). This is probably a good thing because it means no CEO or business owner can become complacent or...