What Would You Do If You Were Bullied (You Might Be Surprised!)….

In the June 2010 Bullying Conference I attended recently in magnificent Wales, Britain’s largest union (UNISON) presented the results of its 2009 bullying survey, which harvested 7,000 (!) responses. One intriguing finding highlighted a vast gap between the actions that bullied persons took (or rather, mostly did NOT take) in order to deal with the bullying, compared with what non-bullied persons thought they would do if they were ever bullied.

As you’ll see from the table below, in any given category, those who were bullied took significantly less action to deal with the situation than the non-bullied imagined that they would do if faced with the same challenge. Take a look:

ACTION

BULLIED ACTUALLY DID

NOT BULLIED THINK THEY WILL

Talk to colleagues

84%

92%

Confront the bully

42%

68%

Raise it informally with the bully’s boss

15%

75%

Consult the personnel officer (or equiv)

43%

65%

Go to Occupational Health

16%

29%

See the UNISON rep

37%

82%

Make a formal complaint

17%

71%

Enlist the support of others to make a group complaint

13%

59%

Look for another job with this employer

43%

30%

Leave your job with this employer

6% (36% plan to)

25%

Do nothing

(25% plan to)

5%

This data confirms that bullying is a highly debilitating experience. When one is bullied, the fear to take action is so overwhelming that one loses perspective of how one might help oneself. Another explanation would be that when one is bullied one realizes the extent to which organizational structures support the behaviour and how little the organization will do to help, and thus one does not take action which will likely prove to be futile.

There are other possible explanations but I’m committed to keeping the blog entries short!

So, if you were bullied, what would YOU do?

And if you had already been bullied, what DID you actually do?

This entry was posted in Blog, Harassment, Resilience, Respectful Workplace. Bookmark the permalink.

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