February 28th, 2013

Bullying’s Red Flags Missed by Executives


We know that most bullying, unlike other forms of workplace violence, is preventable. In hindsight, there is a search for the person to blame for this costly problem. It’s never a single person, it takes a team to prevent executives from accurately characterizing bullying so that they want to eliminate it.

Two missed Red Flag warnings that told the employer there was a problem:

Missed Opportunity 1. Bullied workers try to tell executives but were not believed. This happens for two reasons.

a. Often the descriptions of misconduct appear too outrageous to be real when, in fact, perpetrators do commit atrocious acts against subordinates. Of course, they do not show their sadistic side to their own bosses. They are excellent impression managers.

b. Bullies prepare executive sponsors to not believe future complaints lodged against them. This serves a pre-emptive function. That way, when the bullied person eventually does complain, she or he is not believed!

Missed Opportunity 2. Bullying cases are mislabeled as mere “personality clashes,” which makes them seem solvable by the two people involved. This is wrong because the perpetrator is not motivated to resolve the problem they initiated and benefit from. The target is powerless to stop the bully.

Bullying requires high-level employer intervention. To push accountability down to the lowest level is the missed opportunity to resolve it and prevent future occurrences.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 at 8:00 am and is filed under Tutorials About Bullying. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



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