You know you’re right. This is a case of Bullying Behavior. Know that the boss you go to for an intervention may not have the same needs as you and it will be up to you to meet your boss where they are at for the most part.
- The boss might be happier if he/she did not have to deal with the work, uncertainty, time effort and stress with regard to your claim; they’re hoping you can “just shoulder” it. Don’t fall for this; you know this is not best.
- The boss might encourage you to “buy more coffee, reach out”. This is where you enlighten your boss with your detailed notes, showing that influence will not and has not worked – one cannot hold their peer accountable and especially if there is an adversarial or oppositional disposition with the person in question!
- Directly ask for their authoritative power and explain that this intervention/authority is the only approach that will work with someone who is not seeking a mutual win-win.
- Be clear on what you want, so the boss has clarity in order to support you specifically. Do not leave it for the boss to try and figure this out – detail and help as much as you can. State what you don’t want (the unwelcomed behavior) and then state what you want instead (the request for behavior change). Hire a therapist for the emotional support; stick to the facts for the interaction with your boss and resist the need to “go on and on”.
- Ask for the boss to do this by a certain date. Why wait? Yet the boss may put it off. Agree on when the boss will make the approach to the bully.
- After the boss approaches the bully, monitor the bully’s behavior and let the boss know the update.
- If the behavior has gotten better – thank the boss! Bring him/her a coffee!
- If the behavior has not changed – share this with the boss, and suggest the boss approach the bully again, making it clear what was expected. Suggest a consequence if the bully has not complied.
- You can offer to have a 3-way conversation where the boss brings the two of you together and fosters agreement through their authority. Warn this boss that bullies may tend to make excuses, deny behavior, etc. – just be clear on outcomes and your future expectations.
- Lastly, know that having the boss exercise authoritative power on your behalf is your right. Do not feel guilty; instead, encourage and support this boss to do what is right.
- BONUS TIP: You want to first see if your boss is interested in helping to resolve this situation. Ask them on a scale of 1-5 how interested they are. Next, do they acknowledge your feelings and grief over the situation or are they minimizing things in order to get you to handle things? Lastly, your boss may not know how to proceed in order to correct this behavior. Most bosses are not trained in this area. A very good idea is to purchase our book in either hard cover or as an eBook, Bully Free at Work and read Chapter 10. This is a step by step process for your boss to help correct the situation. And, if need be after that, feel free to be in touch with your boss – we are happy to help!
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Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of "Bully Free at Work: What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!" which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide. For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.BullyFreeAtWork.com
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