Bullying can be a difficult habit to break. Here are four ways to help.
1. Be fair – don’t overpower. If you’re a manager needing to put pressure on someone at work and they are being a pain be fair, be straight but don’t let it get personal. Personal power is there to be used, but don’t abuse it. ‘Toxic bosses’ might get things done but they turn people off. You need people switched on in difficult times.
2. Be firm and problem-solve. If your boss is hassling you again for something you know you can’t do, don’t just say ‘yes’ without condition. If you’re going to say ‘yes’ then negotiate what you need from your manager to be able to produce on time and on target next time.
3. Get a dose of listening – don’t suffer alone. If you’re being bullied and don’t know what to do, talk to someone, get support and then make a plan. No-one should be left to resist a bully alone.
4. Don’t stand by. If you see bullying behaviour, then challenge it, don’t just let it go. Challenge by describing the behaviour, and how it falls short of the organisation’s values. Do it in private if you can.