by Linda Guirey
I read lots of stories about workplace bullying and sometimes is appears more like having a 'toxic personality' in the workplace rather than a bully. Bullies do target individuals, and usually high performers. Toxic personalities create division, upset and operate from the same basis of 'power and control'.
The interesting thing about both of these types, is the reluctance by senior management to respond effectively, especially if the bully is the HR Director, or another Senior Manager.
But the only way bullying and toxic personalities can be effectively dealt with is to have robust policies, a zero tolerance to that type of behaviour, and a good complaints process for staff at all levels where they can raise the issue of bullying or toxic personalities, and where they know that it will be dealt with regardless of who the bully happens to be.
Otherwise, all you get is a shadow of collusion and whilst you have collusion, you will continue to have workplace bullying, harassment and toxic personalities. Bullies need targets and they need collusion. Without these, they cannot continue to bully and either have to change their behaviour, or they have to find another workplace.
So, in my opinion - if your workplace is reluctant to develop a policy, reluctant to deal with the bullies and toxic personalities - then often the only alternative is to go find a workplace who truly takes staff welfare seriously.
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