Get Away From Bullying: Seven Steps to a Brighter Future
Most bullying situations cannot be fixed. Sometimes HR and management will step up and try to change things. But oftentimes the person who is bullying is in a position that makes him or her more valuable than you.
Of course some bullying situations are accidental and when you speak up things can and do improve. But, if things cannot be improved, for example when the bullying is deliberate (spiteful or strategic), then it’s critical that you take care of yourself.
Here are seven reminders of how to get out and away from a bullying situation.
1. Get Your Ducks in a Row
Prepare your resume and your references. This gives you a confidence boost as you review all your accomplishments and remember you were
once appreciated and effective.
2. Use What You Have
Use your contacts, social networking, face-to-face networking, and all your relationships for leads to new jobs.
Consider transferring to another department or office in your workplace, but if the culture is pro-bully, this move may not help. But, it could be ideal. Many people may know that you work for a bully and may not hold that against you.
4. Look Before you Leap
When interviewing, watch for signs of pro-bully workplace culture and, if it’s there, run the other way. This is the frying pan to the fire problem. Remember, you can’t fix a bullying problem. It’s neither your job nor your mission to repair these problems.
5. Watch Your Back
While planning your escape, keep copious records of the bullying, witnesses, reports you made, etc. You may need this to protect yourself—you don’t
want the door to smack you on the way out.
6. Revenge Isn’t Sweet
Forget it. Revenge rarely satisfies. Years ago I remember a report on sex harassment survivors who sued and won. To a person they were no
better off financially three years after the lawsuit than they were before. They lost their jobs, their careers, and their mojo.
7. Heal Thyself
Bully targets feel like victims because they are. But a victim mindset is a terrible burden to carry around. Seek help from a counselor, coach, or spiritual
advisor—someone who understands the unique damage done by ongoing bullying. My only caveat is to find someone who really understands what you have experienced. Many professionals mean well, but they really don’t “get it” and cannot help. I remember many years ago when I was in a bullying situation at work I realized my therapist actually didn’t believe me. The problem was so egregious that it was beyond her comprehension. I sounded crazy because the situation was crazy. To my credit and relief, I found someone who could help me.
For more solutions and tips on how to deal with workplace conflict and bullying behaviors, exclusive content, and detailed reports, sign up for my free newsletter.
Also read my upcoming book, Success Strategies for Handling Workplace Bullying, which outlines strategies I have been teaching targets. My strategies have been proven effective and empowering for targets and I’m committed to sharing them with the world.
I’ve been a strategic consultant on workplace conflict to executives worldwide for more than 20 years. My work brings individualized solutions to your teams’ lost productivity, loss of key personnel, low morale, and the high costs resulting from bullying, abrasive behaviors and interpersonal workplace conflicts.
I’m Kathleen Bartle, Conflict Consultant.