Confident girls are often called the other B-word, and it can keep them from reaching their full potential, write Sheryl Sandberg (COO, Facebook) and Anna Maria Chávez (CEO, Girl Scouts, USA) on March 8, 2014, Wall Street Journal.
We were bossy little girls.
Sheryl: When my brother and sister describe our childhood, they will say that I never actually played as a child but instead just organized other kids’ play. At my wedding, they stood up and introduced themselves by explaining, “Hi, we’re Sheryl’s younger brother and sister … but we’re not really her younger brother and sister. We’re her first employees—employee No. 1 and employee No. 2.”
From a very young age, I liked to organize—the toys in my room, neighborhood play sessions, clubs at school. When I was in junior high and running for class vice president, one of my teachers pulled my best friend aside to warn her not to follow my example: “Nobody likes a bossy girl,” the teacher warned. “You should find a new friend who will be a better influence on you.”
Anna: The Latino community of my childhood had clear expectations for each gender: Males made decisions, and females played supporting roles. My brothers and I used to play war with the neighborhood kids. Each child was assigned to a team to prepare for battle. As the only girl, I was always sent to collect ammunition (red berries from nearby trees). One day, I announced that I wanted to lead the battalion. The boys responded, “You are really bossy, Anna, and everyone knows a girl can’t lead the troops.”
Fortunately, I saw my mother break this mold by running for our local school board. One of the most vivid memories of my childhood was hearing people come up to my father and say that it was inappropriate for his wife to run for office … and having him tell them that he disagreed and was proud of her.
You can take the bully out of the schoolyard, but it seems you can’t take the playground mentality out of bullies even after they grow up. More than a quarter of Americans say they’ve been bullied at work, 7% within the last year alone, according to the Workplace Bullying Institute, which commissioned a new survey studying the prevalence and impact of bullying on the job.
Men make up about two-thirds of bullies, and their targets are women 57% of the time. Although women make up only 31% of bullies, their targets are overwhelmingly — more than two-thirds of the time — other women. Bullying by a boss is the most common kind of workplace bullying, making up more than half of all instances.
“Sadly, what stops bullying the most is requiring the target to lose her or his job,” says Gary Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute. According to the survey, in 61% of cases, the bullying only stops when the target quits, is fired or forced out.
But experts in office bullying say there’s hope. There are steps you can take to stop office bullies. So if you’ve been the target of the office bully, read on.
Margaret Fiester is no shrinking violet, but she says working for her former boss was a nightmare.
“One day I didn’t do something right and she actually laid her hands on me and got up in my face and started yelling,’ Why did you do that?”’ said Fiester, who worked as a legal assistant for an attorney.
Fiester doesn’t have to worry about those tirades anymore, but she hears lots of similar stories in her current role as operations manager at the Society for Human Resource Management, where she often fields questions about the growing issue of workplace bullying.
On-the-job bullying can take many forms, from a supervisor’s verbal abuse and threats to cruel comments or relentless teasing by a co-worker. And it could become the next major battleground in employment law as a growing number of states consider legislation that would let workers sue for harassment that causes physical or emotional harm.
“I believe this is the new claim that employers will deal with. This will replace sexual harassment,” said Sharon Parella, a management-side employment lawyer in New York. “People who oppose it say these laws will force people to be polite at work. But you can no longer go to work and act like a beast and get away with it.”
Another piece of older audio from a radio program featuring Dr. Namie. Law Professor David Yamada joins the podcast with a history lesson to share. The topic is the origins of employment law in the U.S. that governs the workplace. Unfortunately, the relationship between Master and Servant is the starting point. And not much has changed since. The question for Prof. Yamada is whether assurances of dignity and equality for workers is possible given current laws. Yamada is the author of the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill.
US Congressman Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee bullied fellow Congressman Elijah Cummings and below is the video record of it recorded by C-SPAN. Issa allowed no one to testify at this Wed. March 5 hearing held to humiliate former IRS worker Lois Lerner who invoked her 5th Amendment right to not give self-incriminating answers to Issa’s questions. Rep. Cummings had something to say, but Rep. Issa turned off his microphone twice. Issa adjourned the hearing while the outraged Cummings attempted to speak.
Bullied targets have borne the brunt of a bully’s contempt similar to that demonstrated by Issa.
By Caitlin Bronson
March 5, 2014
Insurance Business America
Workplace mistreatment and office bullying contributes to employer losses of more than $4bn in annual absences, including in workers’ comp and disability insurance, a new study suggests.
According to researchers at the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, bullying accounted for 5.5% of sickness absenteeism in 2010. That translates to higher workers’ comp costs in an environment already wary of additional risk.
Researchers noted that workplace bullying, which could include insults, intimidation, withholding information or gossiping, often causes anxiety, stress, depressive symptoms and even post-traumatic stress disorder in affected workers.
“Furthermore, as exposure to bullying increases, the risk of depressive symptoms also increases,” the study found. “Besides targets of workplace bullying, employees who observed workplace bullying have also reported stress and anxiety.”
By Joyce E. A. Russell
The Washington Post
Career Coach: How to detect subtle forms of bullying at work
Sad to say, but bullying does not just exist in the schoolyard. It is alive and well in the workplace.
We probably all know what the obvious signs of bullying look like. Examples include: offensive communication (using profanity, gossip or derisive jokes); aggression (yelling or shouting at an employee); coercion (forcing someone to say or do things against their will); belittling or demeaning someone regarding their ideas or work; embarrassing, degrading or humiliating someone publicly in front of others; retaliation; threats; blocking the advancement or growth of someone, or actively campaigning to get rid of them.
In addition to these obvious forms of bullying, there are many subtle forms that may not easily be detected but still cause emotional damage. Perhaps a bully is in charge of taking photos at a key event. He/she may take pictures of everyone but their victim to let them know who is in control. Maybe the bully acts chummy with the victim’s friends or share jokes and social events with everyone but the victim. These are forms of socially isolating the victim.
Bullies may constantly justify their behavior or make excuses for it (“I raised my voice because I am going through a bad time right now”). They may act oblivious or dumb (“Oh, I didn’t know that was important to you”). They may constantly blame the victim or use him/her as a scapegoat. One tactic that I have heard used a lot is pitting employees against each other so that they will turn against each other. This way, the bully comes out as the winner.
As managers, bullies may set unrealistic expectations or set their employees up to fail. They may also display sudden mood swings, making them unpredictable. They may take credit for others’ ideas without acknowledging them. They may lie or distort the truth about what others have said in order to advance their own agendas. For example, the person may say, “Josh said this is how we should run the meeting” since that is how the bully wants to run it, when in fact, Josh never said that at all.
Really clever bullies are manipulators who are skilled at reading others and understanding their weaknesses so they know how to exploit them. In fact, many bullies can disguise their bullying behind a very nice and charming demeanor and a “pure” or noble cause. For example, they may demean a group of employees by arguing passionately that getting rid of them or limiting their power will be for the “good of the entire institution.” Thus, it may initially be hard to detect the bullying. Also, bullying often reflects a pattern of actions over a long course of time so it may actually go undetected in the workplace, yet still have substantial costs to an employer.