Contact us for support if you identify any of the below.
Bullying can take the form of persistent negative attacks on an individual’s personal and professional performance. These attacks are unpredictable, irrational and often unfairly meted out. There are some obvious bullying behaviours, yet most of the time the behaviours are covert and hidden, subtle and insidious. They gradually wear the person down over a period of time.
Bullying can be an isolating experience — what might appear to be normal behaviour from the outside can be terrifying to the bullied. If you were to examine the lists above carefully, most people would be able to name someone who constantly or repeatedly used some of those behaviours, yet would probably not have labelled them as bullying because, in isolation, the behaviours seem to be quite normal for the individual concerned. It is essential to take complaints seriously and not judge from a personal viewpoint whether someone else’s experiences are valid.
Examples of overt bullying
- Verbal abuse, such as shouting or swearing at staff or colleagues either in public or private
- Personal insults
- Constantly humiliating or ridiculing others, belittling them in front of others, persistent criticism or sarcasm
- Terror tactics, open aggression, threats, abuse, and obscenities towards targets, shouting and uncontrolled anger triggered by trivial situations
- Persecution through threats and fear, physical attacks
- Making threats or inappropriate comments about career prospects, job security or performance appraisal reports
Examples of covert bullying
- Subjecting targets to excessive supervision, monitoring everything they do and being excessively critical about minor things with malicious intent.
- Taking the credit for the other person’s work, but never the blame when things go wrong
- Personal insults and name-calling, spreading malicious rumours
- Freezing out, ignoring, excluding and deliberately talking to a third party to isolate another
- Never listening to other’s point of view, always cutting across people in conversation
- Overruling an individual’s authority without prior warning or proper discussion
- Removing whole areas of work responsibility from a person, reducing their job to routine tasks which are well below their skills and capabilities
- Setting impossible targets and objectives, or changing targets without telling the person
- Deliberately withholding information which the person requires in order to do their job effectively
How is bullying sometimes excused?
- An attitude problem
- A personality clash
- Autocratic style of management
- Macho management
- Strong management
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Poor interpersonal skills