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One of the reasons that people can’t make New Year resolutions and achieve personal goals is that they can’t extricate themselves from difficult situations they are already in. It is hard to move on when you are trapped. In this case I am talking about being trapped at work by a bully. So this year, I am going to use this blog to shine a light on workplace bullies. Together we are going to identify, shame, and prosecute a few.
Workplace bullies come in all shapes and sizes; commonly male but not always. I have seen quite a few and it seems to me that they all have one thing in common. That is, fear. It is an inbuilt ‘fear of lack’ developed over a long period of time. It comes from feeling insecure about some personal attribute – e.g. wealth, status, intelligence, competence, looks, height, popularity, libido. It probably goes deeper than that but I’m not a psychologist.
Probing and knowing the cause doesn’t excuse the misery bullies cause but it does suggest how fragile they would be if we could strip away their props – e.g. the power, authority, and status symbols, not to mention eradicating that traditional festering environment called the average workplace.
It is my view that most workplace environments enable and empower bullies. They are simply built for it. The same structure that supposedly elicits the best work results is the one that causes most misery to its people. It simply allows relationships that don’t exist elsewhere. The age-old hierarchical structure and the master-servant relationships of the workplace are tailor made for the underachiever looking to slip the collar of self control and respect for others.
Send me your bullying stories and let’s act.