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Stop bullying at work

Linda Shallcross, director of Workplace Mobbing Australia, defines mobbing as „a deliberate attempt to force a person out of their workplace by humiliation, general harassment, emotional abuse, or terror“

Conflict at work is normally about quantifiable data, a difference of opinion, or competing interests and options. These situations can be uncomfortable, but sometimes they are necessary for a company to move forward.

Mobbing, on the other hand, is not directed to facts or data, but to your character. In fact, mobbing is suffered in many cases by high performers that threaten a mediocre status quo.

It starts with some vague criticism about your punctuality, lack of willingness to collaborate, some unimportant details in your work, or some personality traits. Mobbing maximizes your negatives and ignores all your positives.

The bully continues trying to isolate you and getting other workers and management against you. Here is where the bully gets a mob to play along.

You feel:

  1. Isolated.

  2. Depressed.

  3. Anxious.

  4. Edgy.

  5. Powerless.

  6. Your focus plummets.

  7. You question your own value.

This is exactly what the bully wants: For you to make mistakes, to get angry, and to be unfocused, so they can give proof of your inability to work. Their goal is to ruin your reputation.

This is what you need to do to feel empowered and in control again:

  1. Start a diary with all the incidents that you are suffering. Write down dates, people, words, actions, behaviors, and how you feel. This will be your red notebook.

  2. Start a diary with all the work you do and your successes. This will be your white notebook.

These two notebooks will help you understand that you have value and aren’t doing anything wrong. If the situation escalates it can help as proof.

  1. Don’t be isolated. Look for peer support inside your organization. If you cannot get it, look for your friends’ and family's support outside.

  2. If you can, talk to your boss or Human Resources to stop the bully. Regrettably, they sometimes don’t want to deal with the problem. Or worse, they are part of the problem. If this is your case, go to point 5.

  3. Get an external psychologist and a lawyer. They will evaluate the situation and protect your mental health and your rights. They will give you strategies and options to overcome mobbing.

If you feel relieved and empowered by this text, it’s possible that you are suffering mobbing. Please start looking for help.

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