What Every Target of Workplace Bullying Needs to Know

How To Transcend Workplace Bullying

by TranscenDancer

I have recently survived a workplace bully. He was the manager of a group of 7 people, myself included. This was a group of people who loved what they did, thoroughly enjoyed working with each other, and did phenomenal work for the company. This manager took over when a previous boss left. His first use of verbal abuse and humiliation on me personally began at a section meeting about a month or two later. Others in the group had already endured bullying by that point. Four months after he took over as manager, he had made victims of every one of us many times over. He even tried to pit us against each other. All 7 of us remain good friends to this day, and more -- we are fellow survivors.

My mistakes: I went to the bully, to human resources, and to this bully's manager, and I tried to work it out in a reasonable fashion. This does not work. Companies always side with the managers. No amount of on-the-job strategy works with these bullies either. I was twice-victimized by retaliation as a result of "doing the right thing". HR et al did nothing about that either.

Finally, after a year of torture, when I was going to bed sobbing and dry heaving and waking up doing the same, my spouse's words finally got through to me: "You have one and only one true power as an employee. Use your feet and get your life back, then watch this jerk destroy himself." I found another job and my career is advancing beautifully again! I am thoroughly enjoying the new and exciting work I'm doing.

I was the first to leave. Three more left within the next 3 months. That's 4 out of 7. That's when the truth became unavoidably clear to this man's managers. The company asked the bully to leave. He now works somewhere else at a serious demotion level.

What I should have done from the start, and what everyone should do:

1. Don't say anything at work -- don't put yourself at risk!

2. Tell your family and friends immediately. Tell them how and why you need their support. They love you; they will be there for you.

3. See the bully for what he/she is: an extremely insecure and inept control freak. They succeed when they make you scared; but if you see what they really are, you won't be scared anymore.

4. Look for your next job. Prepare for this by determining where you want to go in your career and why a new job will get you there. Nobody will be able to question this!

5. You will get that job. Trust me. It may take some time and there might be difficulties, but keep trying. This is where the support of your family and friends is critical, because they will give you strength and help you keep your sense of self-worth.

Here is why this works, and why it is the ONLY thing that will work:

1. The best talent often tries to resolve the problem and that doesn't work. You can't fix a bully and it is not your obligation to do so. It's the bully's and his/her employer's responsibility.

2. Being top talent is the very reason why you should simply walk. Recognize your quality and worth! You deserve better than this. When talent leaves, it hurts the company. That is the only way companies listen and get the message.

3. It reduces the opportunities for the bully to retaliate. It improves your chances to find another job.

4. Getting out as soon as you've realized you've got a bully prevents further damage to your emotional and physical well-being. The bully's actions seem far more harmless and feeble when you've empowered yourself to move on!

5. Your fellow talented colleagues will soon follow. Each person that transcends the bully and takes back their life gives that much more courage to those that remain.

6. All this culminates in the bully's self-destruction. Don't waste your energy trying to fix the bully. Save your energy for yourself and your family.

We will not only survive, we will transcend!

Comments for How To Transcend Workplace Bullying

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Bravo!
by: Anonymous

I have just come to realize that I am up against a workplace bully. I just stumbled across this website just when I was thinking of doing the things that you mentioned not to do. Thank you so much for saving me a lot of grief.

I will now start putting in place my plan to leave. I think I will do it just when the bully has his first major company wide presentation. I'm sure he will flub and blame me for its downfall but I know the truth.

I hope that you are well and happy. Thanks again!

The Boss, the Mob and the Toxic Organisation
by: Anonymous

Good advise, I wish I had read this two years ago. I worked for a non government organisation, as a helping professional, was promoted from within a team, isolated from any same level peers, eventually bullied by my line manager who I think very misguidedly thought I wanted further promotion and the line manager above her who was just a highly unpleasant person and was eventually mobbed by the team... arh... fun times... great memories... unfortunately in the end I lost my temper (my fault, stupid and I take full responsibility) with my self absorbed, now bullying boss and then promptly resigned.

A few non verbal gestures although well deserved cost me dearly. The bully then turned victim... as they do. As for the team that mobbed me, I walked out thinking how a group of largely very likeable people can become infected by malicious group think and transform into misinformed, self righteous villagers, armed with pitch forks and torches of systemic ignorance.

I have the greatest sympathy for the majority of the former team... even the personalities I found difficult, power tripping, and devious... I could burst a few bubbles with the truth of what the organisation really thought of them... I have heard the most highly trained and the most talented of the team no longer work for the organisation, taking with them thousands and thousands of dollars worth of training, expertise and wasted potential...

Do human resource departments ever count staff turnover and tally that turnover with particular line managers? or take exit interviews seriously?... does HR realise bullies are covering up for each other and covering their backsides, by exit interviews being undertaken by direct line managers who have engaged in bullying and poor management skills... the very people who are the reason for employees exiting?... As a passing gift, my victim/bullying boss sent out a group email within which was a coded message to let me know she had won... Won what?? More hours at a toxic workplace... enjoy the prize, sweetheart... what goes around comes around.

Good for You!!
by: Anonymous

I wish I had done what you had done but I did all the things that you said not to do - maybe I wouldn't have got so ill when they dismissed me (put up with the covert bullying for 1 1/2 years constantly being brain washed into thinking it was a "personality clash" that consisted of sabotaging my work. But as they say once bitten, twice shy. I can smell a bully a mile away now.

Totally Agree
by: Anonymous

I wish I had advice like your years ago.

The best talent often wants to try, but a bully simply can't be fixed. Management has to figure it out on their own (which they rarely do). Try and fix these people and, more than likely, you'll pay the price like I did.

Psychological testing of job applicants isn't common here in Canada, and I used to be against the idea, but I've totally changed my tune. If their were foolproof tests employers could use to expose potential bullies, I would support their widespread use.

Make a stand
by: Anonymous

Song Title: "STAND"
Subject: Dealing with spiteful people
Hear it at URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3MxZcls24o

Make Brodies Law world wide.
by: Anonymous

I read about Bunnings Bullying in the workplace. A timber manager was a bully. When Bunnings was caught out Bunnings tried to cover it up. The store manager and the rest of the management team conspired to set the victim up! But the victim taped and Bunnings was caught out for being very dishonest.

Sleepless
by: Anonymous

I wish I could stop crying. I used to feel smart and happy; now I feel just down and afraid to go to work.

I have got a Masters and I sometimes get told things along the lines of why are you not doing this and this and this properly? Some I understand yes, people make mistakes.
Taking more time to check; being stressed -> which of course leads to more drama.
Put a toe out of line and it's like you killed JFK. If only we knew where the line was...

How can the divide and conquer team leaders work??? I refused to point the finger elsewhere so just like the island shows, it got pointed at me.
Ah... fun times.

I never understand. Why are people so happy with making other people feel/ be less? Why must other people see others failing in order to feel good?

There was no choice in having him as a 'team leader'. He came after I was there. So why, in god's name must i put up with this crap.
Like he said last time... "maybe I'm just not fit for the role".

I was until you came, buster.

I was going to do the letter but eh... perhaps it is not necessary.
The only thing that really upsets me is that I am now stuffying up my career, not his.

I like the captcha I must enter for this post. CIRCUS.

Transcended
by: Anonymous

This is has been good to find. I have just come out of a toxic situation recently and had done everything you have said. If you don't listen to your gut instinct that something is not quite right then you will continue to try to work it out until you become very ill. There are no brownie points for this. If you are the target you have no choice but to move on. I used sick leave to go to interviews which made me feel empowered. Document the bizarre incidences and they are bizarre and quite overt as well as covert when they have a tendency to blame others a lot for things most people would admit to this is a red flag. You will know within only a few months what is happening, the crossroads is when you find yourself putting it down to some personal issue they have or how busy things are or this or that, they then have you sucked in. I left in only a few months but in hindsight I should have left lunchtime on the first day when I first experienced the harsh unprofessional behaviour. I only thank the bully now because I am doing what I should be doing and not working alongside such a sad person who clearly needs help, I no longer have to put up with the covering up of their insecurities and inability to do their job and the underlings with no self worth that do the bullying on their behalf. I am flattered in a way to have been a target because all the reasons they felt the need to bully me are things to be proud of I am glad I am not them. This is how you need to see them, do not pity or try to work it out, just get out and be happy you will find a place with like minded individuals.

Strategies from the experienced
by: Anonymous

The comment titled 'Make Brodies Law World Wide' is a really concise summary of what happened to me. Only I didn't tape anything but I did get a few letters of support from co-workers but they were really too scared to say anything.

All you can do is get evidence of them doing stuff a.s.a.p.. Bullies usually don't stop until they get another target.

Always get evidence of your work.

Don't react or they have something over you.

Watch out for when they recruit someone else to do their dirty work and 'push your buttons'. Then you get mad or say something and it will be used against you.

stand up to them
by: untouchable

i was bullied by management at bunnings in regards to them making impossible roster changes that i could not commit to as a single parent. As a member of the union i called them for support. They held my hand and did most of the negotiating but bunnings wasn't backing down until the union made threats to take them to court. I kept my job, my hours didnt change and the co-ordinator responsible for bullying was dismissed... don't run away if you enjoy your job. You pay union fees for a reason, they are there to help you and your workplace environment. Best call I've ever made and management treat me with the utmost respect. I feel untouchable.

workplace bullies
by: Anonymous

I have endured many many workplace bullies and harrasment in pretty much all of my employment over the years, and predominatly in the department I am in now. You are right HR does practically nothing, they just was an easy resolution, and will also side with the bully, as not to considered bias, and they will not repremand them enough. Also the bully gets uptight even more and recruits more people to be against you by mainpulation. The sneaky ones are the hardest to expose. They act all innocent, and then if you complain, they say oh I have done nothing wrong, what is your problem why are you against me! So best to tackle them by being one step ahead and not allowing them to control you or get to you. this is very well written. thankyou. All bullies are driven by their own jealousies, insecurities, feeling threatened, their own incompetence to make themselves look better in others eyes. Many don't have much of a life and worry about others too much or are resentful bitter people.

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