April 4th, 2012

Horrible Bosses

Read the digital copy of VIVmag, including an article on workplace bullying by Laurie Tarkan. Click on the picture below.


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  1. Marie says:

    Accurate picture of the power imbalance!

  2. Tam says:

    We all know this is prevalent. Bombard the law makers. Workers have no power.

  3. Jay Jacobus says:

    One of the sub-points made is that bullies are manipulative. They know that by attacking one worker, they will create anxiety in all other workers.

    This is part of the the dynamics of the bully.

  4. Targets, victims and witnesses of bullying have a few avenues to pursue (as compared with victims of sexual harassment) when subject to repeated and obvious acts of aggression, spreading malicious rumours, excluding someone socially or from certain projects, undermining or impeding a person’s work or opinions, insulting a person’s habits, attitudes, or private life and intruding upon a person’s privacy. Others include being rude or belligerent, destroying property, assaulting an individual, or setting impossible deadlines. Although bullying is recognized as detrimental to occupational health, there is little political or corporate interest in stopping it.

    In schoolyard bullying, the bullies are children, whose behaviour is controlled by the leaders, i.e. the school administration. In workplace bullying, however, the bullies are often the leaders themselves, i.e., the managers and supervisors. Therefore, reporting a bully to the HR dept, for example, may expose the target/victim to the risk of even more bullying, slower career advancement, or even termination, on the grounds of being a “troublemaker!”.

    Workplace bullying has severe consequences, including reduced effectiveness and high employee turnover. An employee who suffers any physical or psychiatric injury as a result of workplace bullying can confront the bully, report the bully to the HR department or to the trade union, if any, or bring a claim of negligence and/or a personal injury claim against both the employer and the abusive employee as joint respondents in the claim. If the law does not persuade employers to deal with workplace bullying, the economic reality will persuade them. Training sessions can help when combined with a confidential reporting structure, but it is difficult to alter the basic nature of some individuals, who may need counselling.

    Maxwell Pinto, Business Author

    • Jay Jacobus says:

      Good post.

      The employee cannot protect himself. He needs to persuade someone to help him. Unfortunately, the people who have the power to help aren’t active.

      The company, lawyers, legislators and government agencies are bystanders.

      Bullies have the “big stick”. No one will challenge them.

  5. dontwanttobebulliedanymore says:

    Bullying occurs at all levels of organizations. My boss reports to the CEO and she bullies me severely. I believe she is bullied by him.

    Forget HR and forget lawyers–by the way lawyers canbe bullied, too–they have licenses to protect and bullies know it and exploit it. Your best bet is to find a new job and hope your new boss is not a bully.

    It is sad but true.

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