Do You Have a Workplace Bully? Here is How to Manage Them

You thought it disappeared from your life after junior high, along with school dances and lunch money. But here you are, a full-fledged career person, fending off a bully.

Besides flashbacks to your 12-year-old nightmares, facing an aggressive and overbearing co-worker can damage your near-term career prospects. It creates a distraction that is difficult to ignore and saps the confidence you need to succeed. Not to mention the emotional toll of dealing with the bully from day to day.

In the junior high days, a fight by the bike rack might solve the problem, one way or another. That is no longer an option for an adult with responsibilities and common sense.

However, there are steps you can take to manage your bully:

Don’t Bottle It Up

Tell people about the problem. Even if you’re not ready to deal with the issue directly (we’ll get to that in a minute), you should lean on your outside support network.

Complain to your family over evening dinners. Commiserate with friends at happy hour. Do what you can to prevent the problem from burrowing into your mind and becoming a long-term confidence drain.

Discuss It with Your Bully

When you’re ready to begin fixing the problem, the first stop is the source of the trouble. Talk to your bully.

This doesn’t mean a public screaming match or an invitation to a duel at dawn. Approach your bully in private and calmly state your complaint. How they respond will dictate what you do next.

Hopefully, the conversation will alleviate the problem. They might not know they are causing harm. They may be naturally aggressive or have a bad sense of humor. After talking with them, you’ll know where you stand and can plot your next move.

Talk to Coworkers

Find allies. Check in with your coworkers to see if they have dealt with similar issues from your bully.

They might have advice on how to deal with the situation. Even if they don’t, you can gather additional information. You can build a case that it’s more than a personality conflict.

Discuss the Situation with Your Direct Supervisor

You’ve tried the direct approach, but your bully didn’t back down. You’ve built up your case by enlisting your coworkers. Now it’s time to get management involved.

Once you’ve exhausted all your informal options, you have no choice but to make a formal complaint. Describe the situation to your supervisor and ask them for help.

Tell HR

If your boss can’t (or won’t) stop the abusive behavior, you may need to escalate further. Keep your supervisor in the loop, but if necessary, go over their head to HR.

Your company likely has protocols in place for dealing with this kind of situation. Once you activate them, the HR staff can help you resolve the problem.

Find Your Right Job Fit Now!

A safe and inviting work environment provides the nurturing your career needs to blossom. Working with a top-flight recruiter, like LaborMax, helps you find these ideal situations.

Contact LaborMax today to find out more.