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How to Counter Workplace Bullying

Bullying in work places includes use of abusive or verbal comments that could belittle someone, hurting them physically or emotionally.

If your workmates find it easy to make fun of you, send you for tea or to the printer against your will, it means you gave them a chance to or you don’t even realize that you are being bullied.

Doing things like running errands for your fellow workmates; which are not particularly stipulated in your work contract, and deprive you of your peace at your work place is bullying.

This could result into various negative outcomes like low self-esteem, mental torture, work overload and eventually poor work performance.

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Here are a few tips on how to can avoid getting bullied at work as guided by Joy Mugara, a Human Resource Consultant.

Be professional

One of the ways to cut bullies off your back is by being keeping a professional relationship with your workmates. Don’t give them a chance to get to you and non will find a direct pass to bully you.

Be serious

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Some people are bullied because they never mind their business. Someone will loiter the whole office from desk to desk as others are working, who won’t send such an idler to run errands? To avoid being bullied, get serious and do your work as everybody is.

Set limits

You have to set boundaries with workmates, don’t allow people to make mean comments or send you to do work for them. Helping is good and making comments at each other in a usual joking manner is not bad either but this shouldn’t be overdone. Know when it’s fun and when you are being bullied.

Say no

No one can disrespect you without your consensus. Say no to the bullies and stick to it. If someone sends you for tea, tell them you are busy. If someone says something that makes you uncomfortable tell them you don’t like it, after all, you are there to make money, just like anybody else.

Do your work, not somebody’s

Do what your job requires of you. Don’t do extra work just to make someone happy or like you because that’s the beginning of them using you. You can help where necessary but it’s not an obligation.

Talk to your bosses

Sometimes bullying goes on even when all the above cautions are taken. This is the time to talk to your immediate supervisor or anyone in a superior position for help.

Signs you are being bullied

  • Being shouted at by a co-worker
  • Your views aren’t valued
  • Sending you to run errands outside your job description
  • Being denied opportunities at work
  • Heavy reprimands over minor errors
  • Being picked on by others unfairly
  • Offensive jokes
  • Isolation

The Health and Safety Authority’s definition of bullying is;

“Repeated inappropriate behavior, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual‘s right to dignity at work.”

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