SO, WHAT ARE BULLYING BEHAVIORS ANYWAY? (or have you ever been bullied?)

by Deborah Knox on December 12, 2011

Bullying is described as repetitive, consistent behavior that harms, intimidates, offends, degrades or humiliates an employee, possibly in front of other employees, clients or customers. Since the behaviors are repetitive and varied (as you will see in the list below) they can exact a tremendous toll on the victim before they even realize the harm being done.  By learning to document behaviors that at first may seem mildly “disrespectful” and random, individuals can overtime recognize when bullying has occurred.  The following examples of bullying behaviors have been identified by Gary and Ruth Namie in their book The Bully at Work. An excellent resource by the way!). Remember, individually these may not constitute bullying… certainly bosses have the right to expect “unreasonable” job demands. Or do they?  But first here are some examples…

  • Blaming an individual for “errors” that may not exist
  • Criticizing  an individual’s  abilities (publicly or privately)
  • Threats of job loss
  • Insults and put-downs, sometimes publicly and privately
  • Discounting or denying an individual’s accomplishments
  • Excluding an employee or co-worker from information required to do the job, not answering emails, etc
  • Yelling, swearing, name-calling or aggressive body language
  • Stealing credit for the others’ work
  • Unreasonable job demands – heavy work loads/additional hours, without adequate communication regarding why and when

If you have suffered through any of the above, you may know how shame and depression can get a hold of you. And if you don’t “realize the harm being done” you may want to take some time, like I did, to reflect and see if there have been bullying instances in your career.   Once I did that, I realized that shame and depression were holding me back  and by re-writing my story I could change the effect it had on me.  Then,  I was able to move forward embracing the next phase of my professional life. You will know in your heart if this is an area you need to explore in order to move on in your life.  I’d love to hear from you if you have been or are being bullied now. You can contact me confidentially at  I can provide you with support and a process for determining positive next steps.

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