Five ways to deal with office bullies

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 25 Maret 2015 | 08.20

The workplace becomes toxic in the presence of co-workers who are bullies. The victim must raise objections followed by intervention by the organisation. If not handled deftly, office bullies can cause irreparable damage to the individual as well as overall productivity. ET shows how you can keep office bullies at bay.

Assess the problem

Take your time before you brand the offending person a bully. If the 'aggression' or irrational behaviour is a one-off incident, it's best to ignore the behaviour. "Do not jump to conclusions. Analyse the issue before calling the individual a bully," says Gaurav Singh Kushwaha, CEO and founder of "Some office bullies suffer from superiority issues; others have a deep-rooted insecurity," he adds.


Create transparency

Organisations need to create a transparent environment for employees to voice disgruntlement against an employee. Lisa Srao, chairman and managing director at I Brands Beverages, promotes an open-style management in her company. "Any employee can directly speak with me in case of grievances, and that is immediately followed by necessary action," she says.


Confront the bully

Once you have thoroughly analysed the person and found that the bullying behaviour is consistent, it is time for you to face him or her. Your politeness can be mistaken for timidity. "People get bullied most of the time if they pose a threat to the bully in any manner, be it in a professional scenario or personal," says Srao. "We need to confront the individual directly in case we encounter such a situation," says Priya Ranjan, group president and HR head, UTI Mutual Fund.


Eschew guilt

Never blame yourself or lose confidence if the bully continues with his or her behaviour. Talk it out with other colleagues and superiors. "In case the problem persists, do not blame yourself for the bully's behaviour or things you are not responsible for," says Kushwaha. If you are ever pressurised, try not to succumb, and believe in what is right. Srao adds that some sort of evidence or witnesses from your colleagues is an added advantage.


Escalate the matter

If the situation gets out of control, reach out to the HR or your boss immediately. "We need to com municate to the individual that such behaviour is not acceptable. Use the services of the HR department and other people to counsel the employee to stop doing it," says Ranjan. "Bullying often harms the mental health of a person, if not physical, hence the onus is on the employer to make sure each employee is happy," says Srao.

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