Here at Client Retention, we have years of customer service and management experience. Here is our perspective…
What determines a bully?
- Bullies purposely try to make people feel uncomfortable OR purposely put people down.
- Some also have a habit of keeping you in a state of “psychological emergency.” This makes them feel important by continually keeping you in a scrambling mode.
- You are constantly walking on eggshells around them and they love it. This is one of the worst forms of bullying.
Here are some other tactic bullies at work use:
- Condescending or demeaning language
- Flaunt their authority
- Talk about others behind their back
- Use the “silent” treatment
- Yell, shout or insult
- Dirty looks or negative eye contact – rolling their eyes
- Belittle someone’s opinion – such as, “What a stupid idea.”
- Purposely choosing not to respond to emails or calls
What can you do about bullying at work? The experts suggest:
- First of all, you must stop being silent. This is tough on many levels but you must speak up or this unacceptable bully behavior will continue. Confront that person on neutral ground. Restrict to basic behavior and don’t try to analyze. During this conversation, specify what behavior change you want from that person. Something like, “you not only embarrassed me but you also embarrassed yourself.” If there are any specific issues that need to be addressed, state that you would appreciate the respect of talking about them privately.
- In addition, don’t give your personal power away. Regardless of the setting, stop listening to their lies and insults and walk away. This actually is very powerful because it defuses the bully and he/she does not know what to do.
- For additional support, you may want to recruit some allies. Check with co-workers and ask if they are experiencing the same thing you are. Talk openly and stand together. Listen to others, but trust yourself. If you have an option, you may want to move to a different area or department.
- Something else you must do is document each and every incident. Keep your opinion out of it. Document the date, time, witnesses and the facts. Hold on to this information in the event you need it for further action. You can also email this information to your boss and/or talk to someone in HR.
- You may also prefer to talk to a counselor or someone objective. If the bully happens to be your boss, you may have to make a tougher decision.
Remember . . . People cannot bully you if you don’t allow it! Bullies at work can affect job performance and customer service. If client retention is your goal, bullies have no place in your business.
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