#ThrowbackThursday: Revisiting Bullying

Over the past few weeks we’ve been reflecting on some of the articles we’ve written over the years.  We’ve had tremendous traction with our  Workplace Bullying or Coercive Control article.  It’s our most popular to date and we’ve had loads of new connections from it.  So we thought we’d jump on the bandwagon and post some old articles under the banner of ‘Throwback Thursday!

As our Workplace Bullying or Coercive Control article was so popular we thought we’d look at bullying from another perspective, how our behaviour can be received as bullying.

Throwback Thursday Revisiting BullyingThrowback Thursday Revisiting Bullying

First published in November 2013, this time seven years ago – a real Throwback Thursday!  Then it was titled:

Accused but I’m no Bully!

and it went like this:

‘Last week, 18 to 22 November 2013, was Anti-Bullying week.  Have you been accused of being a bully and couldn’t understand why?  We all communicate in different ways, have different approaches to dealing with conflict, poor performance, and confrontation (or in the words of Joey Essex, for those of you currently watching I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of HERE! He can’t “Confrontate” people”).

Do you look like this in conversation? Throwback Thursday Revisiting Bullying

“Confrontate” is trending on Twitter at the moment.  People laughing at “thick Essex Joey”.  Will he feel bullied?  Our children growing up in a society that allows “that’s so gay” as a reason for not doing or liking something – how many people are affected indirectly by things that are becoming “figures of speech” or just a laugh?  How many times have you said

it’s just the way I am, I didn’t mean anything by it”?

We have all worked in organisations with Dignity At Work Policies, Harassment Policies, Bullying and Harassment Policies – whatever your organisation has called them.  I’m sure you’re aware that it’s not the intention, it’s how the behaviour is received that constitutes harassment – the impact we have on the other person.  Of course, we can all slip-up, inadvertently offend, and need to apologise.  In the main we learn and reflect on our behaviour.  We manage ourselves through learning and self awareness.

Work can give us a sense of worth, focus, purpose and satisfaction – also enables us to finance our life style.  Sometimes however, work can cause stress and frustration and our health and self-esteem suffer.

On average we spend almost a quarter of our adult life at work, so it’s not rocket science that relationships are crucial to business success and our well-being, together with engaging performing teams.

Wouldn’t it be great if we all understood each other perfectly?

We are all human, all have different preferences, our contribution to the team will differ and we will encounter differences in leadership styles.  It is a given – we are all unique.  We are all different.

Some people are outgoing and task / goal focused, quick decision makers and like to be in charge no matter where they work in the organisation.  They may be driven, fast paced, relish a challenge, and can come across as aggressive, blunt, or dismissive.  With them ‘action speaks louder than words’.  They are doers, competitive and like to get things done.

Are they bullies?  99% no!  But what if they were working with or managing an opposite?

Some people are reserved and work at a steady rate.  They prefer little change, peace and harmony, minimal conflict and time to reflect.  They need explanation, to comprehend the reason for change and understand the impact change or decisions will have.

Will they feel bullied by our doer?  Will our doer feel frustrated by their steady colleague?

What if you are a detail person working with a high level, big picture person?  How will you relate?

As humans there is potential to clash within our relationships.  There is not only a place for different preferences, within relationships, there is a need.  By understanding our contribution, motivation and strengths we can achieve so much – our doer can get things done, our steady person can pull things together and coordinate the task, our big picture person will create and innovate, whilst the detail team member with analyse the impact and implications, picking up on the flaws!

There is a fine line however, between conflict and concord.  Wouldn’t it be awful to be accused of bullying just because we didn’t understand our colleagues or had limited
self-awareness of our impact on others.

If this rings a bell THINK – Team Contribution!  Personal Development or Coaching, we can help!

Workplace Bullying or Coercive Control?We hope you enjoyed revisiting Bullying.  If you didn’t get the chance to read our ‘Workplace Bullying or Coercive Control?‘ article give it a look.


Also why not take a look at our Impostor Syndrome session on Youtube.  There Beverly talks about the power of self-awareness in building confidence, and understanding different personalities within teams.

We’d love to hear from you!