CEO Corner: Bullies in the Workplace


We try. We have a mission statement, guiding principles and personality characteristics. We have manager meetings reminding leadership of the importance of cohesion and monthly emails discussing issues of culture and empowerment.

But I’m sure we have them. Everybody has them. Bullies.

This video describes effects of bullies and defines a bully’s methods in four broad categories.

Bullies are as hurtful to the target as they are destructive to the organization. In most organizations, staff are looking for a harmonious environment, limited drama, and certainly some appreciation. Staff are not signing-up to a job that involves being emotionally controlled, intimidated or humiliated.

Fixing the problem from an employer’s perspective is difficult. Bullies have usually proven themselves to be competent and trusted. The face that the organization sees is not consistent with the power grab occurring in private meetings. It’s behavior manipulation; so, there’s little evidence to actually investigate. It’s complicated.

Even though it’s a tricky process, the following suggestions or perspectives may help:

1) Report the matter to HR.

A third party needs to be informed to monitor or investigate the matter. You may experience some relief knowing you’re taking control, and that the bully will be notified.

2) Protect your mental health.

Bullying is all mental combat. Try your best to not focus all of your energy on the situation, and surround yourself with a strong support system as you go through the process.

3) Know that your humanity is always valued.

Even though you’re in an office setting, never think that your employer does not value your humanity and self-worth.

4) Learn to forgive yourself.

Don’t seek the forgiveness from the bully. Forgive yourself for believing they were right about your character and change your mindset.

5) There’s not too much difference between bully and abuser.

Remember, they likely have internal problems that are making them act this way. Stay strong and keep moving forward with honesty and confidence.