Workplace Bullying ▼
“Telling my story of what I experienced in the workplace.”
Harassment and bullying certainly have a lot in common, but there is one big legal difference: workplace harassment is illegal.
It’s difficult to specifically define workplace bullying unless the behavior is part of other legislatively protected areas such as harassment, discrimination, or intimidation. Bullying can be defined as persistent and ongoing acts of incivility directed toward a person or group. Bullying and harassment are similar, yet different because someone hurts another person through cruel, offensive and insulting behaviors.
Bullying is a form of aggression where there is a power imbalance; the person doing the bullying has power over the person being victimized. Bullying is the use of coercion to get control over another person or to be habitually cruel to another person. Bullying involves an intentional, persistent or repeated pattern of committing or willfully tolerating physical and non-physical behaviors that are intended to cause fear, humiliation or physical harm in an attempt to socially exclude, diminish, or isolate another person. Bullying can occur through written, verbal or electronically transmitted expression or by means of a physical act or gesture.
We consistently see that workplace bullying can thrive only within a workplace culture that tolerates it. In some organizations, a few people seem to maintain and even accumulate power when behaving disrespectfully. In some cases, habitual instigators seem to be held above reproach, despite their displays of disrespect for others.
Often, workplace bullying targets don’t even recognize the threatening and intimidating behavior as bullying until someone specifically identifies it. By contrast, workplace bullies often choose their targets based on perceived strength. A few examples of such perceived strength include physical skill, subject matter ability, or even popularity.
In the workplace, bullying can include sabotage of work as well as verbal abuse. The mistreatment is humiliating, intimidating, and threatening – not to mention being harmful to the targeted person’s health.
Before leaving my employment in April 2018, the bullying by the Director of Finance was ongoing through email, fake stories, gesture and verbal intimidation.
Different types of bullying
Physical bullying: using physical force or aggression against another person
Verbal bullying: using words to verbally attack someone
Social/relational bullying: trying to hurt someone through excluding them, spreading rumors or ignoring them
Cyberbullying: using electronic media to threaten, embarrass, intimidate, or exclude someone, or to damage their reputation
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