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Spot workplace bullies

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in Workplace Communication,Workplace Conflict

You don’t have to punch people and steal their lunch money to be a bully. In fact, subtle bullying behaviors can wreak havoc in the workplace.

Here are three of the most common types of bullies, according to Scott Span, chief executive and lead consultant of Tolero Solutions:

  • 90/10 bullies. Such bullies find something wrong with everything. Their negativity, constant complaining and lack of encouragement make other people feel awful. They often coerce others into adopting their poor attitudes. Counter their behavior by asking them to share one positive thought before they share their negative ones.
  • Blame-game bullies. They never take responsibility for their actions and blame others when they fail. Discourage them from pointing fingers by asking, “What role did you play in this situation?”
  • Argumentative bullies. They will argue with any point anyone makes, and they contradict everything. Their behavior kills productivity, and people often grow so tired of arguing with them that they let them win—even when they are wrong. Prevent arguers from dominating discussions by saying, “We’ve heard your viewpoint. Now, let’s hear someone else’s thoughts.”

— Adapted from “How to Spot the Workplace Bully,” Scott Span, www.news.com.au.

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