Workplace Environment and Bullying

If you are a sports fan, you have heard enough already about the situation in Miami. I don’t want to pile on with more about what we have heard or have not heard. Let’s face it, bullying is a hot topic. Quick search has almost 63 million items to look over. That is not even counting the tons of comments on that information. Some of that information is good, bad and even ugly. Just depends on your perspective or experience.

Was I ever bullied? Yes. it happened. Long story short, I was the new kid, new town and high school freshman to boot. You are going to get pushed as the new kid. How did I handle it? I stood up for myself. Did the bullying stop? No. For me, yes. Fact is that person just moved onto their next target.

As a leader, have I had to deal with bullying? Yes. I had situations that stand out as physical and emotional bullying. Sometimes we like to think that it will never happen under your watch. Well, it will!

As a leader what are you looking for:

  • Keep a pulse on your team. You have to be watching how you team interacts. You have to look for early warning signs (verbal, non-verbal clues).
  • Talk to your team members. I am not talking about just the work related discussions. Building a relationship with each team member is important.
  • Build a work environment of openness. This is important. Setting the expectation to the team is just the first step. Everyone needs to know that they can say what they need to each other or to you. How you as the leader acts upon that what is said – is the proof.
  • Act appropriately. Here is where you will earn you pay. Each situation is going to be different. Probably your first time with that situation, as well. You have to listen well! Gather information and address quickly.
  • Keep monitoring. Not all actions taken, will work 100% of the time. You have to keep an eye on that situation.

Is bullying going to go away? Nope! As a leader, you have a responsibility to your team to make the work environment the best that it can be for your team, your organization and yourself. Keep your eyes and ears open! Don’t be afraid to act!