Bullying in the workplace is a sad fact of life. I am contacted every week by people who are being, or have been, successfully targeted by colleagues and workplace contacts – and who want to know what to do to protect themselves. I take the view that every employer needs to commit to creating and maintaining a zero-tolerance culture towards bullying; that every HR department investigating alleged instances of bullying needs to acquire insight and knowledge into the complex dynamics at play in workplace bullying, so they can arrive at a just conclusion; and that every person at work needs to know how to protect themselves at the time of an attack.
One starting point is to recognise why bullies bully. You can read five key reasons why one person might start to bully another here – as well what you can do to fight back.
You have a troublesome peer and their behaviour is causing you a headache. This colleague of yours is talented. They have some leadership skills when they put their mind to it. They possess some drive and, when they are engaged, some determination too. They could use their natural strengths and their resolve to become an able and valued colleague, someone who consistently contributes to the evolving agenda of the organisation you both work for, someone who shoulders responsibility and gets things done. And sometimes they do behave like that. But, the problem is that, in the main, they don’t.
Your peer is high maintenance. They waste time in meetings taking the discussion along paths that are simply not productive. They say one thing, but then do another. They seem to operate out of an agenda all of their own. Sometimes they voluntarily offer to input to projects. But, when it comes down to it, they don’t do the work and, if they do, their input is about their own political agenda not the best interests of your joint employer. And when they are called on their failure to deliver they become nonchalant and flip, appearing unconcerned that they have let you and others down.
You have previously confronted your team member abotu their unhelpful behaviour and each time you did so you hit a brick wall. So, what can you do? Actually, quite a lot. Click here to keep reading and find out how.