Bullies in the workplace

If you thought crossing paths with bullies was over when you left the school yard, think again. Unfortunately, even in a work environment, many people feel the need to pick on others to feel superior. Following are some tips for identifying bullies in your workplace.

  • Bullies often use body language to intimidate those around them. Glaring, fidgeting or scowling while someone else is speaking is an easy way to make people feel uncomfortable.

  • Bullies can use a variety of methods to intimidate—some are overly friendly while others offer constant unconstructive criticism. Be on the lookout for charming employees who use their friendliness to get information from co-workers and then use it against them. Also, beware of employees who take the other route and criticize by straightforwardly putting others down or being rude.

  • Lack of cooperation is another bully trait. Bullies don't provide people with the means, such as training, to achieve their goals. They also can make unreasonable demands of people who report to them.

  • Some bullies use silence to intimidate co-workers, such as ignoring them if there is conflict and making resolution impossible.

  • The easiest way to identify a bully may be if a person simply throws a temper tantrum. People who communicate by slamming doors, making threats or shouting obviously use acts of hostility to intimidate others.

Employees who function by intimidating others can destroy employee morale and ruin a workplace. Be sure to identify and rid your company of bullies in the workplace before it's too late.