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What to Do If Your Boss is a Bully

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Summary: Are you being bullied at work? Is the bully your boss? If so, you need to follow the advice outlined in this post to improve your situation at the office.

We have heard hundreds of stories of bullying in the media recently as this form of harassment is taking on new faces. What if one of those people wound up being your boss at work? How would you handle the situation? Would you have the strength to stand up for yourself? Or, would you stand back and allow it to continue for fear of losing your job? We will explain the best way to handle bosses who are bullies in this post.

Analyze the Situation 

The first step you need to take when you think you are being bullied is to analyze the situation. You need to take a step back and objectively look at what is happening. Figure out if the issue was a one-time miscommunication, or if you truly dread seeing your boss each day at work.

Do Not Accept the Bullying

The next step is to stand up for yourself. You must not accept being bullied at work, by anyone, let alone your boss. You do not need to be aggressive when you stand up for yourself, but you need to be assertive when doing so.

Perform Record-Keeping

The third step in the process is to keep records of the bullying so you have evidence of it when the time comes. The records should include dates, times, locations and what the bullying entailed. If the bullying has occurred through text messages, emails or memos, keep these in a file. Also, make note of any witnesses who might have seen the bullying occur.

Use the Rulebook

Before complaining to human resources or confronting the bully, make sure you read the employee handbook to find out how such a conflict should be handled. If there is a process or procedure in place, make sure you follow it when reporting the bullying. Also, make sure you follow the chain of command when reporting a bullying issue.

Look for Common Ground

When you think you are ready to talk to the bully about their actions, you can seek common ground to start a conversation. You should open the conversation with a sentence that unites the two of you or ask a question that does not accuse anyone of being a bully.

File a Complaint

If the previous step does not work, then you will be forced to file a complaint with the appropriate channels. Present all of your evidence and any peace-making efforts that you attempted.

Plan Your Exit

If the bullying cannot be avoided, or if the person has not been disciplined, you might need to remove yourself from the situation. This means that you need to have an exit plan in place for leaving the company for greener pastures.

What to Do If Your Boss is a Bully by
Authored by: Jim Vassallo