When the Bully Is Your Boss

In a Bullying discussion forum I belong to, someone recently asked the following question: What do you do if the Boss is the Bully?

My answer was this:

Like everything else in life, it all depends.

1. If the bullying is intentional and targeted towards you specifically, get out of that job ASAP regardless of the cost. Your life and well being will depend on it. Research shows long-lasting, life-altering negative reactions to targeted bullying.

2. If you’re not a ‘target’ but rather just subject to a boor who happens to be in management, find a strategic way to talk about it with him/her. In the initial stages of your relationship, taking a calm and very clear approach will actually work. For example: “There have been a number of times where you critiqued my work harshly in front of my peers. This is damaging to my reputation and well being. Please know that I will not tolerate being ridiculed in public. If this continues, I’ll be forced to take action”. If this doesn’t help, go to HR, or take it further up the organizational hierarchy.

3. If that doesn’t help, see point No. 1 above.

PS In a couple of weeks I’ll be travelling to Cardiff, Wales for the 6th International Conference on Workplace Bullying, and look forward to sharing with y’all the the latest-hottest-relevantest info!

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