An advocate sees a pattern of abusive bosses

Uncategorized Nov 01, 2018
Sara worked in the fashion industry for nine years. She just quit her job and started working for herself. "I feel a lot happier," said Sara. Here's her workplace bullying story, in her words:
 
 
It all started with this guy who hired me out of college. He was a big man with a heavy Irish accent. At first he was charming and patient. Then as the year went by, he had another agenda. He would rub my shoulders and try to touch me every chance he could get when I was alone.
 
Then there was several times he ran at me when I was in the elevator. He tried to grope me, and I was able to escape his grasp by closing the elevator. Several times, he tried to buy me lunch and dinner and showered me with gifts from Bergdorf Goodman — usually short skirts and jewelry, which I would always return. He was sleeping with the other three women in the office — but not me. I used to hear him having sex with them through the vent in my office. I always took a long lunch.
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An advocate's story of being pushed out of a museum from workplace bullying

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2018
Derek worked in a museum as a Museum and Gallery Assistant. He considered his line manager a serial bully. "The bullying was covert. It took me five years to understand that I was being bullied at all," he explained. "Bullying tactics ranged from a blame culture to micromanaging. The controlling bully got some type of kick from seeing his staff suffer and struggle under their large workloads. He would often come in late, do little work, panic, and them spread that panic onto others. He was lazy and manipulative, hiding his incompetence by taking credit for other people's work yet putting their work down."
 
The bullying made Derek feel stressed out, tired, and that his work was never good enough. He developed constant headaches.
 
Then the bullying escalated.
 
"Once I confronted the line manager on his behavior and made a formal grievance a few years later, his bullying escalated. The bully acted like the victim and called me a bully," Derek said.
 
Even worse,...
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How workplace bullying can lead to homelessness

Uncategorized Aug 21, 2018

There’s a stereotype that homelessness results from physical and mental disabilities. But experts say that most homeless people “have been thrust into homelessness by a life-altering event or series of events that were unexpected and unplanned for” (Homeaid.org).

According to Homeaid, those life-altering events or series of events include:

  • Loss of loved ones
  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce and other family disputes
  • Job loss

Experts believe that addressing these issues can help end homelessness in America.

A deeper look into job loss
Job loss often results from mistreatment. While some find themselves unemployed after firing from poor work performance or layoffs from cutting expenses, many are either forced out or quit from mistreatment. In fact, 66% of aggrieved employees quit to end the bullying says The Conference Board Review. (Even if employees don’t quit from bullying, depression and post traumatic stress disorder alone from bullying can...

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Study shows that workplace bullies feel entitled and not accountable

Uncategorized Aug 07, 2018

We know workplace bullying can harm a target’s health, leading to such issues as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even suicide. But what about the bullies? Publishing their findings in the October 2016 Journal of Business Ethics in “Victim and Culprit? The Effects of Entitlement and Felt Accountability on Perceptions of Abusive Supervision and Perpetration of Workplace Bullying,” researchers focused on the problem — what makes a bully bully. They determined that bullies feel less accountability and more entitlement than those who don’t bully. “There’s an indirect relationship between entitlement and coworker bullying through perceptions of abusive supervision that is stronger for employees who report lower levels of felt accountability than employees who report higher levels of felt accountability,” said the researchers.

 

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Why bullies get ahead at work

Uncategorized Aug 02, 2018

“Excellence isn’t usually what gets you up the greasy pole. What gets you up is a talent for maneuvering. Kissing up to the people above you, kicking down to the people below you,” says leadership speaker William Deresiewicz. Most of us who find ourselves bullied at work wonder how on earth the incompetent bullies get ahead while the competent and ethical targets stay at lower ranks with less pay and responsibility.

Here are two reasons why bullies get ahead at work:

  1. Our culture rewards narcissism and selfishness. We live in an oppressive culture where enough people believe those who think they’re more important and entitled than others — and allow toxic behavior. When a bully simply takes power and feels entitled to dictate, belittle, control, or manipulate the target by calling him or her “sensitive” or “emotional,” and we or leaders believe the dismissal of the target...
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Completely absurd reasons why bullies get ahead

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2018

So you have a reputation of being a go-to person at work. One who gets things done and gets them done well. One who wants your organization to be great.

But suddenly you look around, and it’s the selfish, incompetent ones clawing their way to the top while you’re stuck reporting to them, making less money than them, and getting bullied by them.

So what’s the deal? How did this illogical power structure become so common?

  1. They’re great at maneuvering. They kiss up and kick down, so those who promote them either don’t see the damage they cause or don’t care about the damage they cause, but everyone else does.
  2. They’re entitled. When bullies simply take power and feel entitled to dictate, belittle, control, or manipulate targets by calling them “sensitive” or “emotional,” and others believe the dismissal of the targets rather than hold the bullies accountable, bullies get ahead. But...
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How Ally went up against workplace bullying

Ally worked at a hotel from 2014-2018. Read her workplace bullying story in her words:

I was the Director of Sales, overseeing revenue for the property and creating relationships with clients and new accounts. Everything was fine when I began the job and even when we had gotten a new general manager later in 2014. About a year later in 2015, I noticed some changes, not only by our general manager’s (my boss') attitude towards tasks, but how other employees started to see her actions. Bullying began by calling me names and picking on my weight (looking too skinny). After the name calling and picking on appearance, she began to focus on my personal life, making comments regarding my relationship with my sister and even  about my home. As a general manager, you would have access to employees' addresses, but I would have never actually shown a photo of my home or where I live. As accounts were growing and we were booking more business, there was more of a workload,...

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It’s proven workplace bullying affects blood pressure

Uncategorized May 17, 2018

Harmful health effects from workplace bullying aren’t just self-reported. They’re proven.

In a 2003 study, Researchers Wager, Fieldman, and Hussey looked at the effects of workplace bullying on female healthcare workers’ blood pressure. Researchers separated the workers into an experimental group, who dealt with supervisors of two different interpersonal styles, and a control group, who worked under favorably perceived bosses only.

“Data revealed that working under a less favorably perceived boss resulted in significantly higher levels of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure than for those subjects working under more favorably perceived bosses,” say Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman in their Employee Rights and Employee Policy Journal article.”The results are intriguing and consistent with data from correlational, self-report studies.”

 

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When fear from bullying at work costs lives

Uncategorized May 15, 2018

We talk about consequences for workplace bullying targets and their organizations. But what happens in an organization when a bully provokes so much anxiety in targets that targets have crippling fear of approaching the bully?

In their Employee Rights and Employee Policy Journal article, Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman point to the airline and health care industries to show how fear-based cultures created by toxic bosses can promote not just the deaths of efficiency, effective decision-making, communication, risk-taking, creativity, and innovation, but also people:

Airline industry. “In two separate incidents, in which aircraft personnel felt intimidated by their pilots and fearful of questioning his decisions, aircraft crewmembers failed to correct pilot errors that resulted in two separate air crashes, killing all on board,” they explained.

Health care industry. Nurses are often also reluctant to challenge poor decisions made by...

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How one organization changed its culture to reduce workplace bullying and increase trust, fairness, and respect

Uncategorized May 08, 2018

If you think workplace bullying is a bigger issue than managers often suspect, you’re right. Research supports that workplace bullying simply often goes unreported but it’s still happening. In their Employee Rights and Employee Policy Journal article, Researchers Loraleigh Keashly and Joel H. Neuman said a study of the VA healthcare system, the VA Project, showed a gap between those who experienced workplace bullying and those who reported it their experience to a supervisor. “Of the people identified as being exposed to bullying behavior (36 percent of the total sample), 53 reported their experience to a supervisor. An even smaller proportion (15 percent) filed a formal grievance.”

Possible reasons for not reporting bulling behavior at work:

  • Lack of awareness of what one is experiencing
  • Feeling each bullying incident is minor in isolation
  • Fear of being deemed “overly sensitive” or unable to adapt to the work culture
  • ...
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