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Bullying and manipulation at work?

mantiedup28718953.jpgBullying exists in school but it also exists in the office. No matter what type of business you have, you will have at least one employee that plays that difficult person that likes to push others around and manipulates them. This person is often avoided by other employees because they are considered to be a selfish individual that does not care about the team. Self-centered behavior that leads to bullying can reduce productivity, decrease employee morale, cause stress, and lead to a number of other office problems. As a manager it is your responsibility to try and diminish bullying and manipulation at work as soon as possible.

What is bullying?
Unlike your days in elementary school, the office bully will not walk around and punch other people or shove them to the ground. Instead their attack is based on emotional hurt. They exhibit behavior that is used to hurt another person. They will use information from a person to their advantage to further their career while throwing the other person under the bus. A bully will do everything they can to take control over other employees. Even if they do not have seniority, they will try and act like they do and force other employees to follow them.

However, bullying doesn't always come in the form of pushing others around it can also come in a manipulative way of making others feel guilty. This person may whine about their problems to make other people worry about them and fawn over them. They might also use sarcasm to gain control over other employees. They often say things that are quite hurtful and try to laugh it off like it was a joke, no matter how painful it may be to the other person.

The angry bully is often the person that comes into work with a sour attitude. No one wants to be around them because they tend to raise their voice or yell when they become upset. They also threaten other employees and some use their physical presence to intimidate others.

What can you do about bullying?
Bullying is a problem, but you can get rid of it with a few simple things. First, start by creating some strong office policies that inform employees aggression in the workplace is illegal and the employee will be terminated if the display any of this behavior. If you notice anyone is starting to display behavior that resembles bullying, hold a meeting where you can talk to your employees and ask them how they should treat their co-workers. This will make everyone responsible for treating each other with respect. Make sure you address some issues that are part of bullying like blaming, gossiping, and making others feel guilty.

Second, once you have written up the policy and you have given a copy to your employees, you must stand firm. As a manager, you must lay down the law and let your employees know you mean business if they are caught bullying their co-workers.

Third, take control of the situation. When you are in staff meetings, you can often see bullying behaviors come out. You need to stand up and control the staff meeting and quickly squash any employees attempts at assuming your role and cutting down their co-workers.

Fourth, solve disagreements between two employees. This is going to happen and your jobs as a manager is to remove manipulation from the office. You do not need to be a counselor to your staff members, but you need to quickly solve the argument before it escalates.

Fifth, teach your employees how to show respect to one another. In order to build an office that is based on trust, you need to make sure your employees are activity involved in respecting one another. They way they interact with one another will be your biggest challenge as a manager so keep a close eye on them and quickly reprimand bad behavior.

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