1. Know your boundaries
I.e. Be clear in your head what is ok and acceptable to you and what is not. Don’t put up with what isn’t working for you and what isn’t acceptable to you. Ask yourself if this office bullying is acceptable and what type of behaviour works for you.
2. Get your opinion across
Express your views and thoughts openly with colleagues but tactfully.
Keeping it bottled up can be harmful and so make sure that you have the opportunity to get your opinions across and voiced openly.
3. Communicate how things have affected you and how it makes you feel
Talk about the impact on you and your feelings. Do not lash out or point the finger or blame others – that will only lead to a downwards spiral. Office bullying is unacceptable so voice your opinion - just make sure you do it in a calm, tactful way.
4. Ask for feedback
If something isn’t working for you and you feel like you're being bullied - try approaching the subject and/or individual in a questioning manner. Find out what you can about that person and how they are seeing the situation and you. The feedback you get may be really valuable and eye opening. There may be some misunderstandings or misinterpretations of actions going on.
5. Observe and see it from their perspective
Try to take a moment to consider where the other person maybe coming from and what’s driving them to act how they are. Is it just you that is being treated harshly or is it everyone? Is this person the general office bully? Is he/she always aggressive? It can help to observe and think about what is causing different situations to occur. Perhaps the person you aren’t getting on with is having personal issues at home, with other colleagues, is stressed about something that has nothing to do with you. That does not excuse how they may be impacting you but it may at least help you understand why they are acting how they are and perhaps how to deal with it.
6. Collect Evidence
When a sticky situation arises, note it down. Make sure you record when it happened and what happened. Also ask those who saw it happen – if they saw it and what they heard/saw. This may come in handy as evidence when discussing the situation(s) with others and will support your case and recollection in what occurred. Office bullying too often goes unnoticed or unchanged so note down each time it happens to make sure you can prove it and stop it happening again.
7. Ask yourself ‘why do you need to stick up for yourself’?
Is it that you are under personal attack or is there something unfair or unreasonable going on Are you overloaded or is there some kind of favoritism going on ? Take sometime to think about this and figure out what’s really going on and access whether you want to stick around or not. If it really doesn’t work for you – and you don’t get what you want or think you deserve – leave!
8. Listen to your own intuition
When thinking about what you can and what you should do – think about what your intuition is telling you to do. Does it say fight or flee?
9. Find an empathetic ear
Find a sensible, balanced, mature person – perhaps in your peer group, a senior to you or someone from HR, to talk to. Discuss things through with them and use them as a sounding board. Is there a best friend at work that you can talk to? Listen to yourself talk about it and see what occurs to you about what is best to do. Our Career Guides would be more than happy to talk to you.
10. Think about the culture you’re in
What is the culture there? Is it individually focused and sympathetic to the employee? Does your boss care about you and give you the time you deserve? What’s HR’s reputation – do they help people confidentially and support them through their challenges? Or is HR outsourced? What is your feeling about this culture and does it work for you? If office bullying is ingrained and accepted in the culture then maybe this organisation isn't the right one for you.
When thinking about how to have it out – be clear about what is going on. Then the solution and also who can help you in this situation - will become much clearer and more apparent to you. If you are constantly in the face of office bullying - then think to yourself why this is happening and if it's acceptable to you. Seek out the answers of what's going on and whether there is something that can be done about it. Whether there is something that can be done or not - identify whether it's worth your energy, time and effort to make the necessary changes.
Author: Nisa Chitakasem - Founder of Position Ignition - taking you to the next step in your career