How to Deal With Bullies At Work
It seems like every workplace has at least one bully. If you handle them incorrectly, they can make you feel stressed and miserable.
These people can ruin any day and any project. Whether they’ve contributed anything themselves or not, they come on full blast with criticism and accusations. They have only negative things to say about you and what you’ve done, and they think they’ve come to save the day.
As people stand paralyzed around them, they take over and start to bark orders. Soon, however, the bully loses interest and moves off in another direction. With everyone demoralized around you, you are left to pick up the pieces.
The bully is usually the type of person who is driven to get things done. When he feels thwarted in accomplishing something, he strikes out in general. Very often it’s not personal at all, it’s just his way to get something done. If you are under attack by the bully it is because he sees you as part of the problem. Whether the bully is your boss at work or your co-worker, he sees nothing wrong with his actions. He’s forging ahead to complete a task. To the bully, the end justifies the means.
When you are in the bully’s line of fire, you might be tempted to counterattack. This is not the best idea since you might only incite him further. Justifying your position at this moment won’t work well either because the bully doesn’t want to hear your explanations. He wants results, and you sound like you’re giving him excuses. That could infuriate him even more.
When faced with an overbearing bully, many people shut down, say nothing, and slink off. This is a very bad reaction to the bully because it solves nothing. This reaction makes the bully believe that he is justified.
Your best approach in this situation is to hold your ground because bullies will not attack people they respect. You want to be assertive without becoming a bully yourself. This will impress the big bully and he will respect you now and in the future.
Second, the next thing to do is to repeat the bully’s name to him. Say his name firmly and clearly until he stops attacking – now you have his attention.
Third, learn the bully’s main concern. Ask him questions to find out specifically what is causing him to be upset. Quickly and clearly make it known that you understand what his complaint is. Then answer the complaint with a clear brief explanation.
Finally, let him know that you’re open to further discussion when he can speak to you with respect.
By implementing these strategies, you will be well on your way to successfully handling the workplace bully. For more insights, I encourage you to read my article, How To Deal With Toxic Work Stress Carriers.