Bullies at work
Posted by Sri Subramanian (@whosissri) on September 28, 2011
I volunteer for an anti bullying program for kids.
We have found that the best antidote to bully behavior is the bystander who is neither the victim, nor the bully. We teach her to go to the kid who is getting excluded from the play, and say: “I am done playing soccer. I would like to shoot hoops. Will you join me?”
As adults, we know that bullying happens, more often than not, when we are not present. Our job is to empower the bystander and call on bad behavior, as ways to prevent bullying. Our job also is to take action and protect victims from bullies.
We have bullies at work too. They are the ones who point fingers, pass blame, call names, don’t carry their weight, or shoot down every thought before it can develop. They sap energy and frustrate people around them. As managers, we have the same responsibility to empower our team against bullies. But when someone in our team is the bully, we have the choice to focus our energy on coaching the bully, or on helping the others get on with life without the bully.
What is your choice?