What comes to mind when you hear the word bullying? Threats? Insults?, Disrespect? Harassment; sure but bullying takes other seemingly Ã¢â‚¬ËœbenignÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ forms. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how to tell when you are Ã¢â‚¬ËœbullyingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and what to do about it.
Chastising; especially publicly. Do you feel the need to stamp your authority by correcting people publicly and angrily? People will make mistakes but nothing justifies Ã¢â‚¬Ëœdressing them downÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in public. It humiliates them and makes you look unkind and out of control, not the sort of image you want to present especially in public. Tame your emotions so that you can correct with a clear head and to be heard.
Better yet, do any corrections face to face and in private. That way it becomes a learning experience for the person rather than Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe day the boss got mad because of meÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
Targeting: This is when you decide for whatever reason that a particular person can do no right. They become your fall guy; when things donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go well in the team, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the first person you feel is responsible; when they do a good job, you assume someone helped them.
Whilst you might have some basis for your attitude, remember your job is to be constructive and professional at all times; and that includes not judging negatively without basis or letting your personal feelings rule your management style. Teach and nurture, not crush the spirits of those who look up to you for guidance.
Patronising: This can and often takes the form of Ã¢â‚¬ËœharmlessÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ jokes. When you patronise others, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re saying Ã¢â‚¬ËœI am superior to youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ my opinions are more important than yours. Of course, depending on the context, if you have authority your opinions may count more than othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ but donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trash those who care to share their views even if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t end up taking them on board.
Your approach might be to make the case for the merits of your decision rather than on the basis that other views are no good.
Lording: This is a tricky one because a bossÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ legitimate action or response to a situation can be construed as Ã¢â‚¬ËœlordingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ over people. The problem comes inÃ‚Â when you feel the need to let people know that Ã¢â‚¬Ëœyou are the bossÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
For example, you may be creating the impression that everything you do for them is a favour. Wielding power this way is a weakness not a strength. Reflect on why you feel the need to act this way and what you stand to lose by leading this way.
Belittling: Some call it Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcutting someone to sizeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.Ã‚Â When you are okay with or even enjoy making others feel uncomfortable, you might belittle others without calling it by that name. For example, when you totally ignore someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s contribution in a meeting, you belittle them.
Acknowledging people and what they have to say even if you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t agree is the proper thing to do.
Now take action: Showing bullying behaviour? What will you do about it?