Re-posted from http://www.asuccessfulwoman.com/blogpost/how-prevent-bullying-workplace by a Guest contributor
Oftentimes, when the subject of bullying comes up, we tend to think of one child on a playground getting picked on by another. The truth of the matter is that anyone, regardless of age, race or gender, can become the victim of bullying. If someone is being constantly threatened or intimidated, that is the classic definition of what bullying is.
Therefore, it’s a definite possibility that you could find yourself being the target of a bully at the office. The purpose of this particular article is to provide you with five ways to prevent it from happening in your own workplace:
Make sure that there are clear conduct guidelines. Some bullies are overt, while others tend to be more subtle. This is why, if you are the boss or manager you need to make sure that there are conduct guidelines that are clearly written out and discussed among the staff. On the other hand, if you are an employee and there aren’t any, bring the importance of having some to the attention of your supervisor or the human resources department.
Speak with the bully directly. If there is someone at your job who is being threatening, intimidating, controlling or manipulative, whether verbally or via email, the first step to take is to confront them, calmly and professionally, directly. You might want to send them an email so that you have documentation of the day and time that you brought the matter to their attention.
Go to his/her boss. If speaking with them proves to be ill-effective (meaning, you’ve warned them a couple of times and their actions still have not changed), it is then time to speak directly with their boss. Make them aware of what has been going on and remind them that coming to work should be a safe and pleasant experience for all employees. It also doesn’t hurt to ask them what they intend to do about the matter because sometimes employers will say “Thanks for letting me know”, but nothing is really done. Clarity is key in a matter such as this.
File an official complaint. Sometimes, even going to the manager or supervisor of the person bullying you does not stop the harassment. When this is the case, more drastic measures need to be taken. You may want to look on websites such as www.umbrellacompanies.org.uk/ for some additional insights on what to do. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to actually contact an employment attorney to seek some counsel on what your rights legally are when it comes to being bullied while on the job.
Don’t “bully back”. No matter what may be going on, remember that when you react towards a bully in a non-professional manner, more times than not, you are actually fueling the fire; usually, they have been antagonizing you in order to get a response all of this time so that you would go on the defensive. Keep telling yourself that you have done nothing wrong, you are there to do your job and that you need to handle the bully in a mature fashion. Bullying is a childish way to act and they usually don’t know how to deal with being dealt with in an adult-like way. Stay focused. One way or another, by taking the mentioned steps, the “bully fire” will be forced to die out.