Established, since 1997, leading UK based training provider.

How to Handle the Workplace Bully

How to Handle the Workplace Bully

How to handle the workplace bully.

Bullying is intended to intimidate the victim.

The bully may be bullying in the hope of achieving; compliance, deterrence, dominance, status or ego.

  1. Compliance. To induce somebody to do something.
  2. Deterrence. To prevent somebody from doing something.
  3. Dominance. To gain emotional power over another.
  4. Status. To show-off to an audience.
  5. Ego. To feed the bully's self-worth.

Bullying is a destructive form of communication and it needs to be dealt with quickly.

Handle the workplace bully by using the following method.

1. Refuse to give what the bully needs to survive. To survive, bullies need a "submissive response" from their victims. You should absolutely refuse to be submissive: You must NOT give the bully the submissive response he/she seeks.

2. Look the bully the eye and say the magic word, "No".

3. Remember, you always have a choice; to submit to the bully or not.

4. Remember also that with every choice comes a consequence of that choice. The consequence of submitting to bullies is that they are "paid-off" for bullying. (Psychologists call this "Reinforcing the bullying behaviour").

The consequences of saying NO to bullying and refusing to back-down is that the bully is not "paid off" (ie NOT Reinforced) and then the bullies will do two things in quick succession.

  • First, they will intensify their bullying behaviour and try to break your will to resist.
  • If that fails, they will go and find an easier target; someone who will not give them so much resistance and trouble.

Bullying can only be defeated by challenge.

You cannot stop bullying by trying to "win-over" the bully by giving concessions.

Giving concessions to bullies always fails because you are reinforcing the bullying behaviour and by demonstrating to the bully that bullying "works".

You must bite the bullet and deliver a clear message to the bully: that bullying tactics do NOT work, at least they do not work here, on you.

1. Refuse to offer a submissive response.

2. Gather your courage and learn to say "NO".

3. Expect the bully to intensify their bullying in an attempt to break your will.

4. Keep saying NO: Refuse to comply and refuse to "pay him off".

Once the bully understands you are not ever going to submit, they will move on to someone else, to ply his wares. And you will be free at last.

Blogs by Email

Do you want to receive an email whenever we post a new blog? The blogs contain article 5-10 minutes long - ideal for reading during your coffee break!

Your Comments

Further Reading in Conflict Management and Handling Difficult People

  • Grievances at Work
    Grievances at work are generally caused by what someone said or didn't say, or what a person did or didn't do. Obviously, prevention is preferable to trying to sort out a grievance. But what if you already have an issue. Try this six-step method...
    Read Article >
  • De-escalation Skills
    De-escalation of a difficult situation is vital, in order to avoid it becoming a crisis or conflict. Take a look at these de-escalation techniques you should master that will allow you to take control of a situation and defuse a potential conflict.
    Read Article >
  • Constructive Criticism
    Your ultimate success requires that you develop the ability to TAKE criticism in an adult manner.
    Read Article >
  • Performance Management Training
    Performance Management Performance management is the art of getting the best performance from other people. In order to be a good performance manager, you need to know the proper principles of performance management and you need to have the communication skills that will allow you to apply the principles to others...
    Read Article >
  • How to Handle Conflict Situations
    It is important that managers are able to handle conflict in an assertive, yet positive and professional manner. In order to do that they need to know the principles governing rational conflict management skills.
    Read Article >