The bully at work
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The Bully at Work. What is a Person to Do?. Course Outline. I. Orientation to Employee Assistance Program II. Definition of Workplace Bully III. NIH findings IV. Spotting a Bully: Patterns of behavior V. Impact on thers and the Organization VI. Bullying and Effective Management

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The Bully at Work

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The bully at work

The Bully at Work

What is a Person to Do?

Course outline

Course Outline

  • I. Orientation to Employee Assistance Program

  • II. Definition of Workplace Bully

  • III. NIH findings

  • IV. Spotting a Bully: Patterns of behavior

  • V. Impact on thers and the Organization

  • VI. Bullying and Effective Management

  • VII. What can a person do?

Course objectives

Course Objectives

  • Participants will be able to identify and respond to workplace intimidation.

  • Participants with be able to spot a bully by noticing behaviors.

  • Participants will be able to recognize how they and their organization are affected.

  • Participants will understand the mobbing process



  • Participants will understand the differences between bullying and a person with poor interpersonal skills.

  • Participants will have information on healthy responses to a bully.

Definition of a workplace bully

Definition of a Workplace Bully

  • According to a report from CIVI L, the NIH's program to prevent and respond to workplace violence, "workplace bullying is the deliberate, repeated, hurtful verbal mistreatment of a person, the target, by a cruel perpetrator."

Nih studies findings

NIH Studies' Findings

  • A bully can be a co-worker or a superior.

  • A bully can be a male or a female.

  • Bullying, general harrassment, is more prevalent than sexual harrassment and racial discrimination.

  • One factor that places workers at risk for violence is dealing with violent people or a volatile situation.

  • A recent study estimates that 1 in 5 U.S. workers has experienced destructive bullying in the past year.

Spotting a bully patterns of behavior

Spotting a Bully: Patterns ofBehavior

When someone snaps at you or ignores you because they are under

pressure or in a bad mood, that is not bullying. Bullying involves

persistent, abusive, and frightening behavior designed to make the

target feel upset, humiliated, and threatened. The following profile fits

most bullies:

  • Blames others for errors.

  • Makes unreasonable demands

  • Criticizes the work ability of others in front of others

  • Inconsistent enforcement of arbitrary rules.

  • Threats of job loss, insults and put downs.

  • Downplays or denies accomplishments.

  • Social exclusion.

Behaviors continued

Behaviors Continued:

  • Yells and screams at target, often in front of others.

  • Takes credit for another person's work.

  • Women are targets of men 69% of the time.

  • Women are targets of women eight to one times more often than men are.



  • Definition: For the purposes of this seminar, mobbing is the process of a bully surrounding self with people who will tacitly agree to gang up against another worker in order to exclude or control or punish that person. It can take the form of innuendo, rumors and public discrediting and even pushing them out of the office. There is generally a leader of the pack, someone who may be jealous of the success or personality of the other. Their mobbing style takes several forms, from forgetting to invite a target to meetings, taking credit for work done, or even physically segregating the employee from others.



This can occur when a bully wants to be part of

a social group which wants the other worker

out. If a supervisor observes the mobbing and

ignores it, it becomes worse. Often mobbing

occurs when a conflict becomes personal,

privatized, and the supervisor denies the

problem instead of implementing a plan for

conflict resolution early enough.

Impact on individuals and the organization

Impact on Individuals and theorganization

  • In a survey done by the UNC Business school at Chapel Hill, Christine Pearson found that 52 percent of all targets spent company time worrying about their tormentor rather than working; 28% actually missed work in order to avoid the person. More that one in five targets decreased the quality of their work. Almost twelve percent gave up and changed jobs.

What can a person do


  • Leave your emotions at the door.

  • State your position respectfully, factually.

  • Do not take a bully's behavior personally.

  • Try to clarify what the other is really saying by using mirroring.

  • Make no assumptions.

  • Ask questions and stay calm until you understand.



  • Build trust by agreeing with the other.

  • Alert the other to any problem you foresee.

  • Do your homework and be well prepared before you talk.

  • If the other has lost self control, politely excuse yourself to go to the bathroom so he/she can calm down.

  • Agree to do what the person is asking if not illegal or unethical.

Other actions

Other actions

  • Meet with the AP counselor.

  • Contact the Early Mediation Program.

  • Talk with HR/ER to learn of policy for dealing with this behavior at work.

  • Consider talking with an EEO counselor to learn about their services.

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