April 19th, 2013

Top 25 workplace bullying tactics

From the WBI 2003 Abusive Workplaces Survey:

Top 25 tactics adopted by workplace bullies (as reported by bullied targets)

1. falsely accused someone of “errors” not actually made (71%)
2. stared, glared, was nonverbally intimidating and was clearly showing hostility (68%)
3. discounted the person’s thoughts or feelings (“oh, that’s silly”) in meetings (64%)
4. used the “silent treatment” to “ice out” & separate from others (64%)
5. exhibited presumably uncontrollable mood swings in front of the group (61%)
6. made up own rules on the fly that even she/he did not follow (61%)
7. disregarded satisfactory or exemplary quality of completed work despite evidence (58%)
8. harshly and constantly criticized having a different ‘standard’ for the Target (57%)
9. started, or failed to stop, destructive rumors or gossip about the person (56%)
10. encouraged people to turn against the person being tormented (55%)
11. singled out and isolated one person from co-workers, either socially or physically (54%) 12. publicly displayed “gross,” undignified, but not illegal, behavior (53%)
13. yelled, screamed, threw tantrums in front of others to humiliate a person (53%)
14. stole credit for work done by others (47%)
15. abused the evaluation process by lying about the person’s performance (46%)
16. “insubordinate” for failing to follow arbitrary commands (46%)
17. used confidential information about a person to humiliate privately or publicly (45%)
18. retaliated against the person after a complaint was filed (45%)
19. made verbal put-downs/insults based on gender, race, accent or language, disability (44%)
20. assigned undesirable work as punishment (44%)
21. made undoable demands– workload, deadlines, duties — for person singled out (44%)
22. launched a baseless campaign to oust the person and not stopped by the employer (43%)
23. encouraged the person to quit or transfer rather than to face more mistreatment (43%)
24. sabotaged the person’s contribution to a team goal and reward (41%)
25. ensured failure of person’s project by not performing required tasks: signoffs, taking calls, working with collaborators (40%)

You can download the entire study here.

© 2003, Workplace Bullying Institute.


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This entry was posted on Friday, April 19th, 2013 at 11:06 am and is filed under WBI Education, WBI Surveys & Studies. 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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  1. isabelle says:

    Because they are enabled by their own bosses and upper management. There is no accountibility for this person. So at the end is us who suffer and pay the price.

  2. Workinginhell says:

    If a target gets fired because the bully boss alleges things in a “counseling” session, can they or the organization be sued? Like for libel, if it can be shown to be untrue?

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