I posted on the subject of bullying recently and co-incidentally the Guardian has just featured the topic too. Their timely illustration (of the impact of workplace bullying) appears in the work advice section. A reader’s letter recounts the difficulties linked to working with someone whose behaviour sometimes involves bullying.
Most people would recognise that typically the atmosphere in the workplace can combine both positives (interesting tasks) and negatives (challenging people). Most people accept that sometimes their job can seem like the proverbial half-empty glass.
The Guardian’s advice-seeker has spent time trying to talk to a supervisor who can tackle the bullying issue. The supervisor hasn’t grasped the situation successfully. For the correspondent their glass is not half empty. It is actually broken.
Reading between the lines the correspondent seems to have a narrow set of options. Option one, they put up with the situation (more unhappiness for them and for the bully). Option two, they start looking actively for other jobs they could be doing.
There is a crying need, I think, for coaching support to be made available to managers on this topic. Bullying makes workplaces unproductive, creates stress and wastes time. Managerial support would equip supervisors with the empathy, people skills and confidence to sense bullying is occurring, intervene firmly to end it and leave a climate of zero-tolerance afterward. Hopefully this kind of learning is going to become commonplace in future and bully-friendly environments a thing of the past.