Saturday, February 20, 2010

Common Bully Tactics

During our research into bullies and bullying in both the business world and in the workplace, we've spoken to a number of experts about the "whys and hows" of bullying.  They all seem to agree that there are patterns of behaviour that all bullies tend to demonstrate:

  • Claiming to be a victim themselves 
Bullies will often claim that they themselves are a victim, especially if confronted about their actions.  Bullies in the business world target competitors or potential competitors, particularly those that appear to be doing well.  A business bully will often be the most vocal about a so-called wrong doing against them or their business, when the reality is that they have probably acted in far worse ways to others. 

  • Finding new targets
If a bully doesn't get a reaction, and therefore gets bored, they will often move onto a new target.  This might be welcome relief for the original victim but no less difficult and painful for the new recipient of the bully's attention.

    • The Jekyl and Hyde
    One of the most frustrating parts for victims of business bullying is the ability of the bully to operate in such a charming way to colleagues and customers but be so vindictive and vicious in private.  The bully may even behave pleasantly to their victim for a time, leading to a false sense of security that perhaps the matter is finally resolved, but all the while be maligning them to their peers or customers.

    • Isolation
    Being the victim of a business bully is an isolating experience which the bully uses as a tactic to undermine the victim further.  In severe cases it can impact to such an extent that the victim is afraid to make even the most simple of decisions about their own business for fear of retaliation.  

    Standing up to a business bully takes courage as well as skill.  In our next edition we will share some of the tips we've uncovered as to the best way to deal with a business bully.

    If you have been a target and need help please contact me in complete confidence