How It Works
1. Take 10 minutes to review the different types of workplace bullies courtesy of FastCo:
- Name Caller: This type of bully likes to call people names and insult them in subtle ways. This person might "embarrass and humiliate in front of others" and might do so from an authoritative position.
- Cutthroat: This individual is competitive and will do damaging things to "come out on top." They believe their "opponent has to lose" and they'll do whatever it takes to undermine that person in some way.
- Intimidator: This individual doesn't want to deal with problems. Instead, they'll try to intimidate those that come forward with issues into staying silent, so the problems themselves don't have to be addressed.
- Charmer: "This bully is charming to those they seek to take advantage of or who offer opportunity to them" but rude to those that appear to be useless.
- The Gossip: This person "tells stories and defames you behind your back." They damage other people's reputation to try to make themselves look better.
2. Ask yourself if you have ever exhibited any of the behaviors mentioned in #1 above. If none of these are relevant to you, consider your team's dynamic and whether you are allowing any specific individuals to display the above-mentioned behaviors.
3. Now, for the items you identified in #2, take a few minutes to remember what happened. What specifically did you/your team member say or do? What were you/your team member hoping to achieve with your/their actions? What were you feeling at the time? Keep in mind that we often engage in these types of behaviors when we don't feel safe or we believe that we don't matter or fit in. Ask yourself if any of those underlying emotions might have been at play for you or people on your team.
4. Now, consider why the actions you/your team member took might not have been the most effective. What could have been done differently to arrive at a better solution? How might you address the underlying feelings you are having in a healthier way? Going forward, what are the triggers that make you behave like a bully and how might you respond to them differently?