Because “workplace bullying” is badly understood, Unite developed this working definition: Persistent, offensive, abusive, intimidating, malicious or insulting behavior, abuse of power or unfair penal sanctions, which makes the recipient feel upset, threatened, humiliated, or vulnerable, which undermines their self-confidence and which may cause them to suffer stress.
With research showing that almost 80 percent of managers admit that bullying occurs in their organizations, Unite developed these suggestions on how to turn bullying behavior into best practice:
Be Firm, but Fair
Being a boss isn’t a popularity contest. Everyone needs a telling off at some point. Do not scold people severely with a dressing down; just make your point firmly without intimidating or frightening your employees.
Take a Deep Breath
Don’t shout every time you feel the temperature rising. Do your best to restrain yourself and take a step back. If you get a reputation as a tantrum king or queen, then you will automatically get the bully label.
Find time to sit down and communicate with your team or assistant, no matter how busy you are. Thrashing out the week’s priorities over a coffee will reduce stress levels and any potential conflict when the going gets tough.
If you have a problem with one of your team members, then address it in the right manner. Do not rant or bitch about their shortcomings behind their back, as this will undermine them and ultimately make them feel inferior and excluded. It might also make them a target for others.
Keep a Level Playing Field
While people deserve praise when they have done a good job, make sure you play fair. Letting “favorites” develop is a dangerous game that can upset office politics and make people feel excluded.
Don’t Be a Mirror
If you don’t like the way your bosses treat you, don’t act like them. Think about how you feel when someone treats you badly. Just because you’ve been managed badly doesn’t mean you have the right to dish it out further down the line.
Listen to Ideas
If someone challenges you, don’t bite their head off. Think about what they have to say, make a note and let them know how their idea may work next time.
Don’t Leave People Out
When you organize the company get-together, make sure everyone is involved. Try and encourage everyone to attend if they can, and don’t let anyone feel that they are being excluded or left out.