Ever have a situation at work where another co-worker you do not have authority over is bullying you? Do you try and let it not bother you? Do you find yourself bothered anyway? Take a read over this helpful scenario:
Here’s The Scenario:
Judy works for a company where Michelle is the receptionist. Michelle does not directly report to Judy, but Judy does have a higher position in the company. When Judy comes to work, Michelle ignores Judy when Judy says hello. In addition, Michelle forgets to handle tasks Judy has asked her to do, and does not include Judy in important emails, thereby holding information back from Judy that she needs in order to get her job done effectively.
Judy went to her own boss first and her boss told her to be nice to Michelle and buy her coffee in the mornings – to reach out. Judy did this, and nothing changed. In fact, Michelle said she didn’t even like ‘that brand of coffee’.
(Note: If this has happened to you, it is not the issue of the right coffee; it is about being gracious and saying thank you! If someone complains when someone is reaching out like this, it is disrespectful behavior!)
Judy attempted to try and influence Michelle by talking directly with her in order to hopefully come to an agreement. Judy said:
Michelle replied with, “Well, if I wasn’t so overloaded…”
(Note: This is a deflection, as Michelle did not directly answer the question…)
So, Judy persisted and said, “I can see, but is that a Yes or a No?”
Note: Judy kept on task and didn’t get thrown off by Michelle’s tactic of deflection).
Michelle said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about – you’re so sensitive”.
(Note: Now, Michelle’s response is discounting and minimizing Judy’s feelings, and is a classic technique used to avoid a healthy dialogue for win-win resolution. Some people don’t want resolution; they want control over you).
This is when Judy knew for sure that Michelle’s behavior was disrespectful behavior, in fact bullying behavior:
(Note: In respectful relationships, one seeks win-win resolution. In bullying situations, it is disrespectful behavior toward one and not others repeated over time without change after given feedback).
Now What Should Judy Do?
Key: The authoritative power is part of your intervention tool kit. You need this help to deal with a manipulative, “not going to change” bully.
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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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