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Most of us will have gone through a rough patch during school, be it struggling to understand the Pythagoras theorem or suffering the effects of questionable lunch options in the school canteen. However, there is another more serious issue that children face at school, and that’s bullying.
Up to 67% of school children experience a form of bullying during their education. Most children emerge from the chrysalis of their school years relatively unscathed, relived that playground taunts and jibes are over. But unfortunately for some, bullying doesn’t stop at the school gates.
Play By the Rules
So what should you do if you’ve become a target for the workplace bullies? Well the first step would be to talk to your line manager or HR team. HR workers are trained to deal with difficult situations and confrontations and they should be able to offer formal guidance, while your manager may be able to have a quiet word with the bully and resolve the situation informally.
Face to Face
Sometimes a person with an aggressive personality may not realise how they are coming across and how their actions could be casting a mood over the whole office. If this is the case, it’s possible that talking to the bully directly could defuse tension and enlighten them as to how their actions are affecting their colleagues.
If the bullying can’t be resolved by talking to the bully directly, or you don’t feel comfortable to discuss the matter with your line manger, be sure to record any negative activity if you want to make a formal complaint. A written record of events, including date, time and location of the occurrences, will give your case more clout if you choose to make a formal complaint.
It’s Good to Talk
Regardless of how you choose to resolve the issue, it’s important to be able to talk to someone else about the problems you’re facing, as coping with bullying on your own can lead to further anxiety and stress. Confiding in a colleague or loved one will give you an outlet to discuss what’s been happening and will hopefully give you the courage to confront the problem.
Bulling in the workplace takes many forms and while some would argue that dealing with difficult people at work is par for the course when you work in a competitive industry such as business, banking or sales, this doesn’t make harassment and intimidation acceptable.
It’s important to confront the problem as soon as possible and other great resources include bullying.co.uk and bullyonline.org.
James Duval works in IT and spends most of his time writing, researching and tweeting about business and technology. He is a little bit obsessed with Batman and in his spare time he loves to bring his comic book heroes to life, one amusing meme at a time. He also blogs for Vinehouse and loves to relax by playing on his Xbox.