Have you Experienced any of These “Workplace Bully Weapons”?


Have you Experienced any of These “Workplace Bully Weapons”?

As a research sociologist and executive conflict consultant, I have read hundreds of research results while identifying and categorizing workplace bullying behaviors. Most of them offer a list of behaviors and leave the analyses to the front-line consultants to decipher.

As a result, many approaches have been developed to help employers deal with aggressive behaviors at work. My approach has been to use specific details to develop interventions. All that said, it is interesting to look at behaviors. Here is a recent article highlighting new research on bullying behaviors. The authors document the behaviors by those reporting bullying behaviors.

“The most common way workers reported being bullied was getting blamed for mistakes they didn’t make followed by not being acknowledged and the use of double standards.  The full list includes:

  • Falsely accused of mistakes – 42 percent
  • Ignored – 39 percent
  • Used different standards/policies toward me than other workers – 36 percent
  • Constantly criticized – 33 percent
  • Someone didn’t perform certain duties, which negatively impacted my work – 31 percent
  • Yelled at by boss in front of coworkers – 28 percent
  • Belittling comments were made about my work during meetings – 24 percent
  • Gossiped about – 26 percent
  • Someone stole credit for my work – 19 percent
  • Purposely excluded from projects or meetings – 18 percent
  • Picked on for personal attributes – 15 percent”


Workplace Conflict: You Are Not Alone

I don’t see any particular trend in these results that would influence the work of executive coaches who know the field of workplace conflict, but if you are trying to understand your own experiences with workplace conflict, perhaps this list will help you feel less “crazy” and more powerful. After all, knowing your experiences are universal and not unique can make a huge difference.

Are you a target of bullying? You are not alone. Learn what to do, what to say, and how to handle yourself when confronted by aggressive behavior. Join my teleclass, “From Victim to Victorious.” As part of a trial offer, starting Friday February 28, 2014 – 9AM pacific, noon eastern, I will be giving everyone a chance to evaluate the class for free for the first 3 weeks. For more information, click here.

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.

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.

  • over 12 yrs working in 3 different departments of the same local government under DHHS, yes, all of the above. organizational sickness that runs rampant among the incompetent management. Mediocrity is always rewarded, excellence punished.

  • Kim

    At my former job, I had stellar reviews until 2 years ago; during those two years I was subjected to psychological abuse, and ALL of the experiences you listed above. I finally blew the whistle on some illegal and unethical practices the boss was involved in. Within 4 days, I was told I had resigned. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, plus physical ailments are my constant companions. I have been in numerous programs, therapy is on going, and I am recovering, slowly. This is a horror that needs to be eliminated. I have broken down every time I have to tell my story, even now I am teary. I tried talking to one attorney, no real help, doubted that I had a case!

  • Angie

    I’m am currently in a similar situation as what Kim endured. I’ve been employed by the same company since 1999 and after finding myself reorganized into a different department reporting to a different manager, I’ve gone from receiving excellent reviews to being nitpicked, harassed and abused by my manager, co-worker and even the Human Resources Manager. Life is hard enough without having sickness, depression, anxiety, and dread become a constant companion in your life.

  • Thank you all for sharing your stories with me. It is quite true that the traumas of workplace bullying run deep and hang on. There are answers including specialized counseling and coaching from people who understand the issues and what works in helping you all recover. I am working on a group coaching format (via telephone) to help people. The group strategy is so that the costs are kept reasonable and the support expands. I hope you follow my blog and comments on Linkedin and watch for my announcement when I launch the group.

  • Great post, Kathleen. This is why it’s so important for job seekers to do research on potential employers on workplace watchdog sites like eBossWatch.

  • Jobless_and_Jaded

    Angie, sounds like you are experiencing exactly what happened to me. I reported to the HR manager, who referred to herself as the “HR bitch.” During the last eight months at the company, where I had worked for 16 years, my mother died, I developed thyroid cancer and type 2 diabetes plus a frozen shoulder. My supervisor was very cruel to me during this time. She even became physically aggressive toward me, grabbing my pen and pad of paper out of my hand as I was making notes during a meeting — a meeting at which I was accused of something I did not do. It was a set-up.
    When I told her I had diabetes (my endocrinologist wanted me to go to a series of two-hour seminars during working hours), she said, “I’m not surprised.” I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. That was three years ago and I’m still jobless, at age 59, without much hope of ever getting another job again.
    If you are young enough and have the skills to get another job, then update your resume and get out of there before you become so damaged that you cannot function. If not, perhaps you could take sick leave for a while if it’s available. Take care.


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