Two common effects keep the best workers from climbing as high in the corporate ladder as their often less competent colleagues:
High ethics and competence vs. low ethics and competence
Quite often, a subordinate with high competence and high ethics will report to a supervisor with low competence and low ethics. The subordinate may pose a threat to the often insecure supervisor. The best employees often do not rise to the top. Maneuvering and playing the kiss up political game most often get employee promoted rather than their accomplishments and work ethics.
The Dunning-Kruger effect
The Dunning-Kruger effect says that incompetent people overrate themselves, and competent people overrate others. According to Wikipedia, "the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average.... Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals...
Some might argue that abusive behavior reveals malicious intent. Others say we can't possibly know abusers' intent and that some don't intend to inflict pain, but there should be accountability.
Regardless, many targets — who've all been on the receiving end of abusive behavior and understand nuances of it better than most — believe that abusers at work fully try to inflict pain and that abuse requires deliberate action intended to create or reinforce a hierarchy of power and control.
In fact, while some abusers may just not know better, many use abuse as a tactic to disguise incompetence and deflect it onto those whose competence poses a threat.
Take Your Dignity Back
If you feel like you’re stuck in a big rut that’s destroying your life, learn how to reverse the damage.
Right now, you wish you could just tell your bully at work to knock it off, report the problem to management, and show the bully how childish he or she’s...
If we were to create a workplace bullying target persona, she would be a 42-year old, college-educated, full-time, non-supervisory, non-union worker in healthcare, education, or the government.
Targets of workplace abuse are most often motivated to help others — the do-gooders who enter healing and helping professions. When they don't also focus on politics, they become vulnerable to abuse. This mindset generally falls along gender and industry lines.
Targets and witnesses often say that those targeted abuse are often kind and cooperative. Though they also considered targets not likely to defend themselves and vulnerable (a strength often seen as a weakness in our patriarchal culture), it’s important to note targets are cooperators, not competitors. And collaborative work environments are proven to be not just healthier for employees but also for organizations’ bottom lines.
Nursing and teaching: rampant with bullying
I was a 33-year Commonwealth employee who was bullied and driven to suicidal ideation, panic attacks, and gastric problems. I would grind my teeth in stressful situations and cracked a molar. I spent a night in the hospital for stress-associated illness. I was prescribed anti anxiety and anti depressive meds and had a gastric ulcer. I spent time sobbing in the ladies room. I nearly was killed on the highway after taking too many anxiety meds prescribed to me because I just couldn't take the stress.
I wrote a book, published in 2015, related to my work. The new administration where I worked warned me not to write the book after previous administration gave me permission.
I was harassed with letters from my agency's lawyers sent to my house, threatened with termination, and had disciplinary letters placed in my file containing statements that weren't true. Every day I suffered some form of bullying and gaslighting. I incurred an industrial accident that was documented but not...
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