The Schoolyard Bully in the Workplace

March 26th, 2013

By Christiane Soto,

Since the beginning of the year, the issue around workplace bullying has literally jumped off the radar and into everyone’s stream of consciousness.  Questions have been raised about whether or not employees need legal protections against bullying in the workplace.

But what is workplace bullying?  The issues around bullying are well-known to educators, who have developed well-documented action plans for students to use to protect and positively assert themselves. However, the phenomenon of bullying does not simply go away because one is granted a diploma.

According to the 2010 Workplace Bullying Institute survey, 35% of workers reported being bullied at work:

  • 62% of bullies are men; 38% of bullies are women
  • Women bully other women in 80% of the cases
  • 68% of bullying is same-gender harassment

But who is a bully?  The composite of a typical workplace bully does vary a bit from the schoolyard bully.  Remember, the workplace is a very different environment.  Here, the assumption is that that we all know how to “play well” with our peers.  The workplace is not always warm and fuzzy; it is an environment where everyone is judged based, not on our sparkling personalities, but on our ability to get our jobs done and meet goals and expectations. Read the rest of this entry »