You know you’re right. This is a case of bullying behavior. Be aware that the boss you go to for intervention may not have the same need as you to have this corrected!
- The boss might be just as happy if he/she did not have to deal with this situation, and you could just “shoulder” the situation. 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: Tip: Learn How To Keep a Log That Gets Results on page 99 of Bully Free at Work You will show that simple influence will not and has not worked when dealing with a bully.
- Ask directly for the boss’ 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 instead, so your boss has clarity in order to specifically support you. Don’t leave it for the boss to try and figure this out – detail and help as much as you can.
- Ask 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. For accountability strategies, go to page 170 of Bully Free at Work.
- 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! Reward good behavior.
- If the behavior has not changed – share this with the boss, and suggest the boss approach the bully again, making it clear as to what was expected. You need a boss with authoritative power over the bully.
- You can offer to have a 3-way conversation where the boss brings the two of you together and fosters agreement through the boss’ authority. Warn the boss that bullies may tend to make excuses, deny behavior, etc. – just be clear on outcomes, a bully can be charming. Your real goal is for this unwelcomed behavior to not happen again.
- Lastly, know that using this boss to help you is your right. Do not feel guilty; instead, encourage and support this boss to do what is right.
PS: We can so often be disappointed in leadership. We can feel let down when we do not feel protected. Do all you can here to make yourself clear. It is now up to your boss to at least acknowledge and honor your situation. Feel free to share our blog and our resources with your boss…sometimes a boss wants to help but does not know how for the best overall return. Know that we are here 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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