Workplace bullying is unfortunately very common across San Diego at every level, from the most junior of employees right through to executive management. However, as anyone who has ever been the victim of workplace bullying will know, bullies are often smart enough to keep their activities under the radar, discouraging reporting and making it hard for managers and HR professionals to take action.
Being able to understand the types of behaviors that workplace bullies display and learning to identify common tactics used by bullies in the workplace can help to ensure that you don’t fall victim to bullying yourself. It will also help you to recognize workplace bullying in San Diego and take action if you are targeted by the office bully.
Common Personality Traits Of Workplace Bullies
First of all, it is important to understand that being targeted by a bully is not so much about you or something that you have done to offend the other party, but more about the bully themselves. Bullying is often motivated by insecurity – perhaps the bully feels threatened by you, or is jealous of your success or progression within the company.
Bullies often mask their own self-esteem issues by lashing out at others, or attempting to sabotage the performance or self confidence of others in an attempt to disguise their own failings.
Gaining recognition for good work, being popular with your colleagues, or having a good working relationship with your superiors are sometimes all it takes to become the target of a San Diego bully, which of course again indicates an issue with the bully themselves and not you or your work.
25 Common Tactics Used By Workplace Bullies
Bullies are often subtle and creative in terms of their behavior towards their victims so knowing how to recognize patterns of bullying can help you to get a head start on identifying it for what it is.
Here are 25 of the most common tactics used by workplace bullies, based on the studies of Gary Namie PhD, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute.
- Non-verbal intimidation, such as glaring or displaying hostile body language towards the victim.
- Belittling or minimizing the victim’s thoughts or feelings, or mocking them for their natural responses and reactions.
- Wrongly accusing the victim of making mistakes or producing poor quality work.
- Displaying cycling mood swings and erratic or unpredictable behaviors and moods.
- Attempting to alienate or unsettle the victim by ignoring them, or avoiding or outright refusing to speak to or communicate with them.
- Ignoring or minimizing the victim’s achievements or skills.
- Holding the victim to different standards than those applied to other colleagues or the bully themselves, which may be unachievable or unrealistic.
- Spreading, starting or encouraging others to take part in malicious gossip or harmful rumors about the victim.
- Attempting to isolate the victim from other colleagues, both within the workplace and on a social level.
- Creating arbitrary or onerous rules for the victim alone.
- Inciting other colleagues to turn on the victim, or participate in a campaign against them.
- Acting out in an offensive or objectionable manner around or aimed at the victim, whilst remaining just within the letter of the law or company rules.
- Attempting to humiliate or upset the victim by shouting, acting aggressively, or otherwise acting in an inappropriate manner for a professional environment.
- Taking the credit for the victim’s work.
- Providing false information about the victim’s performance and work in formal evaluations or performance reviews.
- Abusing a position of trust to gain access to sensitive or confidential information about the victim to use against them.
- Penalizing the victim for their perceived failings by deliberately singling them out for undesirable or unpleasant tasks.
- Failing or refusing to follow commands or directions from the victim or relating to the victim without a valid reason.
- Mocking or insulting the victim based on personal traits such as their race, gender, accent, personal appearance, or lifestyle.
- Setting the victim up to fail by giving them impossible tasks or deadlines that the victim cannot reasonably fulfil.
- Discreetly or overtly encouraging the victim to resign or request a transfer for reasons other than their work performance.
- Deliberately sabotaging the victim’s work by withholding information or refusing collaboration where necessary, and blaming the victim for the resultant failure.
- Attempting to compromise group projects and collaborations that the victim participates in and blaming the victim for the failure.
- Launching an all-out campaign to threaten or deter the victim from progressing or remaining within the company’s employ.
- Retaliating in any of these ways if the victim files a complaint or reports the bully.
This list is not exhaustive, but it does give a good outline of some of the most common modes of operation for workplace bullies in San Diego.
What To Do If You’ve Experienced Workplace Bullying In San Diego
If you have been the victim of a workplace bully or if you feel that you are being victimized by a colleague or boss and you aren’t sure what to do about it, don’t suffer in silence.
Contact Walker Law now for discreet, confidential advice from a team of professional employment law attorneys in San Diego.