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Bullying in the Workplace

Remember when you were in grade school and there was always that one kid who would push the other kids around and make them feel inferior? This was the same kid who would always get into trouble in the classroom for talking too much or who would steal money from other kids for lunch. Sometimes, he or she would have several other friends or followers who would follow him/her around while this bullying took place. Sound familiar? Well, as it turns out, the same thing can happen in the workplace.

It is sad to think that as adults, there are many of us who haven't matured enough to grow out of such a horrible phase. All too often, employees will come across bosses who bully them or other employees as a means of hiding their own inadequacies. After all, it has been determined by many psychologists that at the heart of the person who bullies others is this great sense of fear- fear that others will find out how incredibly insecure they are about themselves. Notice that those who are extremely self confident (not to be confused with egotistical) don't take the time out of their days to harass other people.

At the workplace, bullying can take the form of managers who are too aggressive with their employees when things go wrong. And studies have been done which actually show that those managers who are more aggressive when things go wrong are that much more likely to get promoted over other people who feel guilty about the problem and personally accept the responsibility for the failure. Guilt and responsibility in that sense are seen as weaknesses and demonstrate a lack in the ability to lead others- something which is preferred and desired in managerial positions.

Recently, I had a friend tell me the story of a manager that she worked under when she was going to college years ago. She had two people that she reported to: her direct supervisor and then the head supervisor (who was above her direct supervisor). The issue came about when she asked the head supervisor for permission to take classes part time while she worked for the company. The manager didn't have a problem with it at all. However, her direct supervisor did have a problem as the direct supervisor openly did not like her. As a means of making things more difficult, the direct supervisor was harsh in her criticism of whatever work was done and demanded that she be there for employee dinners, which took place during the times when she had night classes. Because the direct supervisor spoke to the head supervisor, she managed to convince the head supervisor the same.

Ganging up on employees is something that happens all the time, despite the fact that it is not professional. There will be those employees who smile to your face and refer to you as a “kiss up” when your back is turned. And what can you do? If you work in a small office, you may have no choice but to seek employment elsewhere if it seems like everyone is turned against you. Your employer should know better though. Any professional who is managing others needs to be impartial, looking only at the facts of the situation. Are you a good employee? Are you regularly at work early or on time? What negative things could be said about your work ethic, demeanor and such?
About Author Brenda Williams :

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Article Added on Sunday, October 11, 2009
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