It can be hard to distinguish when pushing hard and striving competitively can turn in the direction of bullying at the workplace. Though these do create a push for individuals to be creative and to find more effective ways of generating outcomes, they can easily veer in the direction of becoming characteristic patterns of bullying. When the behaviour that is demonstrated by an individual towards another is directed towards destroying the core self of a person, undermine that person, thereby limiting their ability to get their work done, causing them to even consider leaving the workplace, it is the realm of bullying.
Regardless of who the bully is, how strong the bullying behaviour is, whether it has gotten enmeshed and entrenched in the culture of the workplace, addressing it is of extreme importance. To ensure that employees feel safe in their workplace and find avenues for their personal and professional growth, it is important to work to eliminate workplace bullying.
The following are some measures that can be helpful in confronting and working to resolve a situation related to workplace bullying:
Be willing to confront the situation
Do not step away from confronting the behaviour that is being enacted. The longer you wait and hope that things would settle they move in the direction of escalating instead. So it’s important that when the first instance of bullying occurs, the same is addressed at the time itself.
Do not mitigate your experience of the situation
Often in instances of bullying, it is common practice to mitigate or even altogether dismiss the experience that someone who has been bullied has. Know what you have felt and rely on your own experience. Do not be too willing to take the perspective of others repeatedly if your experience is contrary to what they are attempting to lead you to believe.
Attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint
While you must value your emotional and psychological experience of the situation, do not forget to also attempt to view the situation from an objective standpoint. Make a concerted effort to see for yourself if a differing perspective is a viable explanation and if so be willing to integrate it into your viewpoint.
Share your experience
Do not push yourself to contain what you have or are continuing to go through. The longer you stay isolated in your experience the more it is likely to impact your sense of self. Share what has been happening and reach out to friends and family for support.
Do not hesitate to escalate the situation
In all likelihood if you are a victim of bullying the behaviour may have also taken place previously. It is likely that someone else around you may be aware of the same or may have experienced it. Feel comfortable in escalating the situation to your boss first and if required to the HR and other committees within the system to ensure your safety and well-being, if attempts to address the situation and share your perspective have failed.
It is important to keep in mind that the mental health of an individual can be easily compromised on account of bullying experiences, potentially leading to the precipitation of mental health related illnesses in some cases as well. Prioritizing employee well-being is a must for an organization to be seen as having a strong commitment towards employees, which is at the core of trust and loyalty that individuals demonstrate towards systems, creating a psychological contract and not just a relation which is based on a physical contract between the employer and the employee.
Bullying is a behaviour that has no place within organizations and needs to be managed effectively by leaders within systems.
—By Kamna Chhibber, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Head of Mental Health Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare
Published at Fri, 19 Jun 2020 19:33:00 +0000