Bullying creates an atmosphere of fear that undermines a team’s morale and ultimately their success. Unless managers intervene, bullying is likely to result in getting the bully more than their fair share of airtime, credit, headcount, budget, or the like. This results in a toxic culture and misallocation of resources. If bullying gets rewarded, it’s not surprising that some people are willing to do it.
One of the things that makes preventing bullying so difficult is that we tend to be unaware when we are the one doing the bullying, but acutely aware when we are being bullied. According to a 2021 Workplace Bullying Institute survey, only 4 percent of people say they’ve bullied someone at work, but 49 percent say they have been bullied or witnessed bullying at work. It’s easy to recognize when other people bully, and hard to be aware of our own bullying.
It’s a leader’s job to create an environment in which bullying gets recognized and corrected. There are two important things you can do as a leader. You can create consequences for bullying, and you can shut down bloviating BS.
In this episode, Janice Omadeke and I discuss workplace bullying and how to handle it. You can listen wherever you get your podcasts, or here: https://www.justworktogether.com/podcast-season-2