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Welcome to Bully Free at Work
Dedicated to Stopping Workplace Bullying


Bullying in the Workplace occurs in every country in the world. For targets who experience Bullying at Work - my desire is to give you the very best tools and strategies to regain the confidence and respect that you deserve. And for managers and supervisors, it is my aspiration to give you the finest leadership support to create a healthy respectful workplace. And for a keynote or break out session at a conference, the sessions are not only informational, but inspirational as well. See our Workplace Bullying Speaker Package to be more informed!

Stopping Workplace Bullying is everyone's responsibility - consider Bully Free at Work your go-to resource that will inspire, inform and allow you to implement well researched solutions that you can count on. Period.

We're in your corner,
Valerie Cade
Valerie Cade, Founder
Bully Free at Work


The 12 Steps To Making It Through Any Holiday If You Are Being Bullied

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Many of you may have some holidays over the next few weeks and while you will be away from work, I realize for many of you, you may just take the time to ‘think more’ about your bullying situation at work.  While we’ve been blessed with the ability to think and reason, let me give you The 12 Steps To Make it Through Any Holiday if You are Being Bullied to ensure your thoughts are working for you; after all, you deserve to enjoy the holidays too.

Step 1: Realize if you are feeling ‘less than’ with regard to your workplace bullying situation, that it will help you to admit to being bullied.  Admission is the first step to your independence.  “I admit, this is a workplace bullying situation.”

Step 2: Remember it is natural to want to connect with everyone; and it is important to have a boundary with a bully.  Lower your expectations for connecting with a bully.
Old Thought:
“Well, if I just smile and come in a little earlier, maybe they’ll come around.”
New Thought:
“I admit this person is a bully and no matter what behavior change I make, the bully will not ‘come around’.  I cannot control the bully’s behavior change, so I will not expect one.”

Step 3: Keep a list of all of the hurtful situations with regard to the bully.  Re-read this when you start to think ‘He didn’t mean it; I think things will come around’.  Remember your wonderful heart has a tendency to create an illusion; it is called humanity and it works great for almost anyone else…except bullies.

Step 4: If you feel it is too hard to shut the bully out, counter-act this behavior and instead deposit into someone else’s life.  While doing so, you will gain the connection you are looking for and you may even get a connection back!

Step 5: Schedule in your daytimer: time off from thinking about the bully.  Start with small amounts of time and go for the ‘many day plan’ if you can.  Everything needs a break.  The tide comes in, the tide goes out.  We have 4 seasons.  We sleep, we awake.  We think about the bully, we need to take a break from thinking about the bully.

Step 6: Decide your day.  Have something scheduled every day for your enjoyment.  Many people forget what it is that has created happiness for them.  I decided to rent as many Walt Disney movies as I can over the holidays.  I forgot how much I enjoyed these movies!  What might you do?  Try a baby step…

Step 7: Lavender Oil was created to ‘calm the senses’ and reduce stress.  Did you know that smell is the most powerful force?  Why not get it working for you?  What other smells could you create? Popcorn?  The smell of making a favorite dish?

Step 8: Know you didn’t cause the bully to behave this way.  Nothing you did has caused the bully to behave this way to you.  What you can control is how you think about the bully’s behavior.  Know you didn’t create it.

Step 9: Be aware of the bully’s traps they create in order to get you ‘thinking and doubting’.  Did you know most bullies do not take personal responsibility for their behavior?  They will use blame, guilt, ‘you should’, hurt emotions of ‘what you did to cause them pain’, etc.  Anyone speaking like this is trying to get you to take ownership for their pain. If you own it, they win.  You do not have to own it.  Be clear on what is true for you and be ok if you think differently than the bully.  You are allowed your own truth.

Step 10: Resist the need to be understood by the bully.  It won’t happen.  They do not have the capacity.  If you find yourself ‘thinking things through over and over again’, this is called self-doubt. Once is okay in order to assess where you are at and what you are dealing with.  More than that, you would benefit once again from knowing the bully is simply incapable; you didn’t cause it and you cannot control it.

Step 11: Weeds or seeds?  Weeds: your thoughts about the bully over and over again (yes, it is good to process things, but it is also good to take a break).  Now, with your break, could you plant a seed?  In good soil?  What does this mean?  What are some things you’d like to do in the next year?  Maybe it is something simple such as going for a walk in a certain park.  Maybe it is finally searching out Emotions Anonymous and seeing if this support group might just be able to give you the hope and encouragement you need.

Step 12: Know you are not alone.  Sometimes hearing this can make all the difference in the world.  I just want to say to every one of you reading from all over the world in over 100 countries now: thank you for caring enough.  Know that you are good.  Know that you have a wonderful heart and even though you might be suffering now, this will not last forever.  Stay plugged in and know we are in your corner.

PS: Sometimes it only takes one ounce of encouragement to keep shining. The past does not equal the future. May your path be protected.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1947

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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Question re Workplace Bullying: Who Decides If Someone Is Being Bullied?

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We receive many email questions from all over the world. I thought this one was most important to address:

Who decides if someone is being bullied at work? Wouldn’t a target just over-react and label the behavior as bullying?

This question is an interesting one.  It has to do with the reality of the target, and the reality of the bully (the bully knowingly targets an individual with their disrespectful behavior repeatedly).

In my book, Bully Free at Work”, I ask each target to keep a detailed journal of observed behaviors from a bully, or bullies (i.e.) mobbing.  This is done to demonstrate a pattern, as opposed to a one-time occurrence.  In addition, it also shows the intensity of disrespect.

One aspect to consider is the impact of the bullying on the target.  Some people who may suffer from lower forms of self esteem may experience bullying as more severe.  However, many individuals with healthy self esteem also experience bullying behavior, and the experience is severe, causing harm to the target.

Separating the experience of the target from the bullying behavior is also important.  For example, you could have a resilient person who handles excessive verbal abuse attacks, is denied promotions ‘without any cause’, and is purposefully left out of meetings in order to decrease the information power necessary to do their job; and yet he or she somehow manages to rise above all this.  Just because the target is able to rise above this does not minimize the behavior of the bully.  It is still bullying.

Bullying is deliberate disrespectful and repeated behavior toward a target always for the bully’s gain.  The word ‘disrespectful’ has to be defined in order for each workplace to have a sense of allowable behaviors and non-allowable behaviors.

There are people who exhibit difficult behaviors and who are not targeting anyone; this is not bullying.  There are people who are very sensitive and suffer from lower levels of self esteem and may not take responsibility for their situations at work, who are victims, so to speak.  Although this victim’s personal experience may feel severe, the behavior directed may not be bullying.  And there are good people working diligently, who are being targeted repeatedly and trying to cope as best as they can.  I will repeat once again:  anyone who is knowingly targeting another in order to cause harm is bullying.  Understanding the difference is key.

Respectful behaviors are best.  Any alternative should be held accountable.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1942

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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How To Manage Your Boss…Without Them Knowing It – The Essence of Influencing a Bully Boss

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Someone once said, “What interests my boss fascinates the heck out of me!” Better said, it is in our best interest to be aware of what is important to our boss, in order to know how to co-exist. After 18 years of working with people all over the world, it occurred to me that realizing how to manage my boss was one of the most important things I learned in order to get more results overall…so here are some tips I have used for years, no matter what the personality!

Did you know the most ‘in demand question’ we receive at Bully Free at Work is “What Can I Do…I Don’t Connect With My Boss?” Many of you are saying these 4 things:

  1. “I don’t feel my boss understands me”;
  2. “I don’t think my boss respects me” and;
  3. “I know I’m analyzing about what to do next, much too often!”
  4. Lastly, you just wish you could have a game plan and move on instead of ‘playing the guessing game’.

I used to think I was going crazy until:

  • I realized “Hey, maybe I do have some good skills and I am a good person! I just might be in a situation where I am forgetting this.”
  • I began to see, “I have had good relations with others, maybe it is the dynamic of me working with this boss that needs to change. It’s not that I’m 100% incapable.”
  • In order to have something change, I could wait for my boss to change (this one didn’t work) or:
  • I could learn how to ‘Manage My Boss’ (in a win-win way) in order to have my needs met, meet the needs of the company as best as I can, and not harm too many people!’

Here Are 3 Things I Learned Over the Years:

  1. When I understand what motivates my boss, I gain the upper hand, so to speak. This can be a win-win advantage, rather than a power-over situation.
  2. How to not take some of the things my boss might do personally. Saying this is the easy part…knowing it, well, I have one simple saying: “That says more about my boss than it does about me!”
  3. Knowing what was important to my boss in order to get his or her needs met was key in getting my needs met.

Did you know that I was bullied at work not just once, not just twice, but three distinct times? Did you know that after I learned these principles, I was not bullied anymore?

So why am I telling you this?

While preparing for our year end here at Bully Free at Work, we discovered we had 49 CD albums of these very secrets in our resource: “How To Manage Your Boss Without Them Knowing It”!

These were the secrets that started the Bully Free at Work movement…and now we have people that we’ve helped in over 100 countries from all over the world. “How To Manage Your Boss Without Them Knowing It” not only has the best secrets of how to ‘manage your boss’ (the ‘information’), but it is recorded live in 2 CDs complete with a workbook you can use to follow along. The live recording is your ‘inspiration’…working through this is your ‘implementation’ plan for moving ahead.

Click below to order your set! And – as our Seasons Greeting to you – until Monday December 26, we are offering free shipping!

Isn’t it time to have a different experience at work? It’s your turn…

NO-RISK ORDER FORM:
Yes, I want to Know How To Manage
My Boss Without Them Knowing It!

How To Manage Your Boss! 3 Album CD Set Complete with Workbookfor only $49.97. By understanding what motivates your boss, you can anticipate and appeal to those motivations. Trust is then built. This allows your boss to ‘let go’ so you can take on more responsibilities for your job satisfaction. When you master the skill of managing your boss, you can manage anyone!

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1932

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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10 Tips You Need to Know to Handle Workplace Bullying Rejection

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Being picked last for the team, not being able to find a room-mate in college, being left off of a party list, not being asked your opinion while others can speak freely are just some examples of ‘rejection’ experienced by almost everyone. Being rejected repeatedly by the same person is a form of workplace bullying and it hurts. The question is how can you move on from the horrible emotional feeling of rejection and gain back the joyful existence you once had?

Why Do We Feel Rejected?

Feeling rejected is based on the target’s perception. One cannot argue with feelings. One aspect is our ability to handle rejection:  Those who had secure attachments earlier in life often have a higher resiliency to handle rejection than do others. Who tends to reject us is another factor. If it is a transactional rejection such as a clerk in a store, admitting nurse or police officer whom we might only see once, we are apt to shoulder it a little easier than when faced with rejection from one’s primal or social community. The rejection could stem back to early childhood, even the womb. Suffering rejection from our community gives us a ‘loose filter’ at best. We may feel the effects as deep wounds or we’ll react to the slightest of rejections with more intensity.

Why would someone reject us? There are two perspectives to consider:

1. Someone is unaware of causing you to feel rejected. You have an expectation of someone,  yet they are unaware of it. You decide it is rejection because you think ‘they should know better’. Consider these situations:

  • You volunteered for a whole year on a conference and the National President didn’t even thank you when they saw you. You felt rejected and hurt. After all, look at all the work you did. (This situation actually happened – I was the President. I do like to honor people; I had so much on my mind that I had a ‘blind spot’ and was didn’t realize that I had not acknowleged the contribution.  This particular individual told me three years later and I was so sorry I ‘missed that one’).
  • Your boss never quite says “Great job.” Maybe they’ve never been told ‘great job’. A pattern such as this can start in childhood.

2. Someone is aware of wanting you to feel rejected. They do understand what they are doing and how it will make you feel. This rejection, happening over and over again, is bullying. Remember, someone rejecting you is about them rejecting themselves. It is a projection of their own hurt. Here are some ways in which you may experience ‘rejection’ from another:

  • Sarcastic humor to put you down (remember – it’s only a joke if you are both laughing);
  • Condescending or critical thoughts over you; they are mad you ‘don’t get it’;
  • You are left out of information loops or social situations in order to have power over you.

What drives all of this? Envy. The bully wants what you have. The bully wants to take what is not theirs.

What Happens When You Feel Rejected?

Some people, after years of rejection, may act as the ‘rejector’. Nothing seems to be good enough or acceptable enough. We are constantly offended or disappointed. It might be situational, or all the time. This is a reaction to the initial rejection, or the ‘wound’ we once experienced.

Other things we may experience are:

  • Being accident prone;
  • Being edgy;
  • Suffering from anxiety;
  • Suffering from depression;
  • Thinking suicidal thoughts;
  • Not being able to sleep;
  • Excessive worrying;
  • Excessive analyzing;
  • Feeling others are talking about us;
  • Feeling others are ‘out to get us’;
  • Feeling apathetic: what’s the use?
  • Procrastinating; perhaps becoming phony in order to cover up;
  • Criticizing others so we can feel better;
  • Letting others walk all over us, yet blaming them for this too;
  • Feelings of self-pity, resentment, anger, jealousy, envy, greed, intolerance, impatience, selfishness because ‘it’s not fair’, over-sensitivity, vanity or indifference.
  • Withdrawing and alienating from those we love.

What Can You Do?

Remembering that everyone has felt rejection is important. Secondly, being bullied and feeling rejected can knock even the most competent person off their stride. Having said this, here are some things you can do to lessen the hurtful and sad feelings:

  1. Admit you feel rejected.
  2. Admit if there are any self-preservation behaviors you may be doing in order to cope.
  3. When one is rejected, they feel out of control. Gaining back control is realizing and admitting you are powerless over your emotions (meaning we need help and also we cannot really change another).
  4. If you are suffering to a large degree, know you deserve to feel better; and it can get better.
  5. Consider Emotions Anonymous. Look them up. It is the most effective and low cost solution support system I know that can restore hope, dignity and control back into your life.
  6. Look out for patterns. Do you spend a lot of your time harboring the feelings of rejection? Time to get yourself some help… it’s ok, we cannot ‘lean on our own understanding’ for everything.
  7. Keep a list of the best compliments you have ever received and review them. Keep an encouragement file folder with your ‘notes’.
  8. Work at knowing who you are. High approval needs is an addiction that will never be met. When we know who we are and what we stand for more clearly, we tend to stand taller. Make a list of what is important to you and develop a life around these things.
  9. Decide: what you can control, what you cannot. What you can cure, what you cannot. What you did cause, what you did not.
  10. Expression is the opposite of depression. Decide to change things up and give something to someone else. A smile, an encouraging call, a joke. Something given as encouragement to another is a higher vibrational level than the feelings of sadness derived from rejection. This might sound simple and small, but it might be just the thing to turn your heart around, just when you need it…and you’re in control of that.

We are more than our emotions. We are wonderful people worth celebrating and honoring. My very best to you this week.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1925

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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Handling Workplace Bullying and Stress: What Will You Do?

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When one experiences the despair, confusion and challenge of workplace bullying, we will behave in a number of ways – some of them are conscious and some of them are unconscious.  Peace comes from the ability to feel a sense of perceived control over one’s circumstances and existence.  Just know it is our ability to make conscious choices that can allow you feeling more in control, and thus find the peace you are seeking.

To protect oneself during a workplace bullying situation, people tend to act in these ways:

  • Change – having the awareness and strength and resources to attempt a change in how the bully behaves (intervention) or how you react/respond.
  • Leave – Proactively deciding to separate yourself physically, emotionally and mentally from the bully.
  • Accept – Accepting the bully as a person with limitations in the way you need to interact, and realize you’ve let go of the need to try and change their behavior.  You’ve also let go of behaviors you do to try and change the bully’s behavior i.e. “If I sat here…”, “if I came early…”, “If I….”
  • Cope – You’ve decided you cannot leave, so you make a conscious decision to minimize your interactions with the bully and to develop your strength for when you do have to interact.
  • Escape – Finding something that takes you away from dealing with the issue at hand, that gives you the illusion of ‘I need to be here rather than facing the workplace bullying situation head-on’.

Here’s how ‘escaping’ works.  See if any of these are happening to you:

  1. Denying:  The best thing you can do is to admit what you are experiencing.  You cannot cure what you do not admit to.  Naming it “bullying” gets you back in the game.
  2. Delusion:  The next best thing you can do is to accept the bully will not change; so put a stop to the delusion that if you “try harder” things will turn around.
  3. Ignoring:  You “feel” things are not going well and you may not be sure of what to do, so you “get busy” doing other things, or you “zone out” or withdraw from the situation and pretty soon life itself.
  4. Excuses:  “I know the situation at work isn’t going well, but Phil’s retiring in 4 years…”  We delay protecting ourselves and taking action, because that appears to take more effort.

Why Do People Escape?

  • It’s difficult to see someone in a poor light; we tend and hope for people to change so we can avoid the possible conflict and uncomfortableness of setting boundaries.
  • Without a plan of assurance and peace (which you will not get with the bully), it seems easier in the short run to keep “putting things off”.

What To Do:

  1. It’s Not What You Think, It’s What You Admit/Know: Our mind, the ability to admit where we are at, and our current reality is 100% in our control.  Betraying what our mind, body and spirit are saying to us is a sure self-esteem destroyer.
  2. Values Win Over Needs Every Time: Make a list of your values and rate how you are living them on a scale of 1 – 5.  What could make something a 5?  When we fail to live to our values, this is a true destroyer of self-esteem and a sense of control.  You will gain strength here by making a few changes in a positive direction in order to help you handle your workplace bullying situation.
  3. Go Through Things, Not Around Them: Keep seeking, asking and building yourself and your self esteem.  It is a daily reconciliation.  What do you need to face? decide? do? let go of?
  4. And finally, a prayer that has traveled the world over:

“God, grant me the serenity to

Accept the things I cannot change

Change the things I can, and the

Wisdom to know the difference”.

Let’s take one step closer to be as conscious as we can to accept, change and grow in wisdom … and with this decision you’ve been given 100% control.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1921

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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How to Encourage Your Boss to Follow Through on Your Request in Dealing With The Bully On Your Behalf

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You know you’re right.  This is a case of Bullying Behavior.  Know that the boss you go to for intervention may not have the same needs as you.

  1. The boss might be just as happy if he/she did not have to deal with this situation, and you could just “shoulder” the situation.  Don’t fall for this; you know this is not best.
  2. The boss might encourage you to “buy more coffee, reach out”.  This is where you enlighten your boss with your detailed notes, showing that influence will not and has not worked.
  3. Ask directly for their authoritative power and explain that this intervention/authority is the only approach that will work with someone who is not seeking a mutual win-win.
  4. Be clear on what you want, so the boss has clarity in order to support you specifically.  Don’t leave it for the boss to try and figure this out – detail and help as much as you can.
  5. Ask for the boss to do this by a certain date.  Why wait?  Yet the boss may put it off.  Agree on when the boss will make the approach to the bully.
  6. After the boss approaches the bully, monitor the bully’s behavior and let the boss know the update.
  7. If the behavior has gotten better – thank the boss!  Bring him/her a coffee!
  8. If the behavior has not changed – share this with the boss, and suggest the boss approach the bully again, making it clear what was expected.
  9. You can offer to have a 3-way conversation where the boss brings the two of you together and fosters agreement through the boss’s authority.  Warn this boss that bullies may tend to make excuses, deny behavior, etc. – just be clear on outcomes.
  10. Lastly, know that having the boss exercise authoritative power on your behalf is your right.  Do not feel guilty; instead, encourage and support this boss to do what is right.

Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1915

© Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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How to Tell If It’s Workplace Bullying Behavior: Protecting Yourself and Moving Forward

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Here’s a scenario:

Judy works for a company where Michelle is the receptionist.  Michelle does not directly report to Judy, but Judy does have a higher position in the company. Michelle ignores Judy when Judy says hello when she comes to work.  Michelle “forgets” to handle tasks Judy has asked her to do, and does not include Judy in important emails, thereby holding information back from Judy that she needs in order to get her job done effectively.

What happened:

Judy went to her boss first and her boss’s advice was to be “nice” to Michelle and buy her coffee in the mornings – to reach out.  Judy did this, and nothing changed.  In fact, Michelle said she didn’t even like that brand of coffee.

Then:

Judy attempted to try and influence Michelle by talking directly with her in order to hopefully come to an agreement.  Judy said:

“When you ignore me when I come into work…

“I feel hurt and left out…

“What I’d like is for you to acknowledge me with a hello when I come into work.”

The key: “Can you do this – Yes or No?”

Michelle replied with “Well, if I wasn’t so overloaded…” (excuse:  not wanting to hear Judy).

Judy persisted, and said “I can see you’re busy, but is that a Yes or a No?”

Michelle said “I don’t know what you’re talking about – you’re so sensitive.” (deflection).

Michelle’s responses are discounting and minimize Judy’s feelings.  They are classic techniques bullies use to avoid a healthy dialogue for win-win resolution.  Bullies don’t want resolution; they want control over you.

This is when Judy knew for sure that Michelle’s behavior was bullying behavior:

  • It was deliberate – no one else was treated this way;
  • It was repeated;
  • It was disrespectful and harmed Judy – holding her back from a healthy synergistic relationship that co-workers should have with each another.

Michelle denied the olive branch and failed the test – she chose ‘power over’ by trying to discount and minimize Judy’s requests.

Now What Should Judy Do?

  1. Stop buying coffee and stop trying to rationalize with Michelle – no more fantasizing “Maybe if I bought Michelle another kind of coffee, or brought in homemade cookies…”.  Stop.  This is how you can bullyproof yourself.
  2. Document exactly what happened in detail, and ask for a quiet meeting with her direct boss (who has authority).
  3. If Judy’s boss does not acknowledge the crucial conversation request, Judy should have a Crucial Conversation with Michelle’s boss, who has authoritative power over Michelle.  Judy should ask specifically for what she wants, using the Crucial Conversation planner, and not let the boss brush her off.  She could bring the boss a coffee, if she wants!

    Key: The authoritative power is part of your intervention tool kit.  You need this help to deal with a manipulative “out to get you” bully.

    Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

    You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1906

    © Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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    Workplace Bullying vs Disrespectful Behavior: What is the Difference in How To Deal With It?

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    Two of the top questions I receive are:

    1. How do I know if this is bullying or disrespectful behavior?
    2. How do I approach or confront bullying vs “difficult” behavior?

    Here’s the difference:

    Bullying is repeated, deliberate, disrespectful behavior toward another for the bully’s gratification.

    Workplace bullying is deliberate; not accidental.  People with disrespectful behavior may or may not be deliberate; they may be unaware.

    Bullies are out for self-gratification.  Someone who is being disrespectful may not be necessarily out to harm another; they are out to protect their own needs.

    You can possibly reason and negotiate with a person using disrespectful behavior.  You cannot reason or negotiation with a workplace bully.

    1. Most people/targets want to hold on to the belief that people are basically good, and that they would therefore receive feedback well if approached.  We somehow think “If I just say it this way” or if I bring them a coffee … then… they’ll come around.
    2. Most bosses, in their attempt to help an employee with a bullying situation or disrespectful behavior situation, often offer this advice:  “Treat them the way you want to be treated”; extend the olive branch and they’ll somehow come around.
    3. This influencing strategy can work – but only with minor situations where the person with disrespectful behavior has a healthy enough self image to be able to receive kindness in order to come around.  Let me be clear – influencing works with the good natured but over-worked and perhaps situationally stressed individual whose heart is seeking a win-win.
    4. Now that you know this, you can try this influencing strategy of extending the Olive Branch, but do not expect results when dealing with bullying behavior.
    5. If you face moderate severity of disrespectful behavior, and in some very rare cases of minor bullying, you can approach the person with a Crucial Conversation.  The Crucial Conversation is an attempt to reach out and share what you need/want, with the hope of receiving agreement back.
    6. Note:  Many people get confused here.  If you are certain you are facing a bully, this influencing strategy will not work – you cannot rationalize with a bully, and attempting to open up a dialogue will only expose you.
    7. Also, note that workplace bullying requires an intervention where you are clear; you state what you want as opposed to asking and trying to come to a win-win resolution.  However, if you are not certain you are in a bullying situation and you are hesitant as to your approach to influence or use an intervention, you could:
    8. Try the Crucial Conversation Influencing Strategy – if it works, you have a disrespectful behavior situation.  If it doesn’t work, you may have a bullying situation, where they are only interested in retaliating and aiming to control you once you are exposed.  At least you will know.
    9. If you know this is Bullying Behavior (bullying behavior is deliberate, not accidental, disrespectful, repeated behavior towards an individual that the bully derives pleasure from hurting), then proceed to intervention – do not pass Go, do not collect $200…
    10. Lastly, remember, once you identify the bullying behavior, fully internalize that you cannot reach out and rationalize with a bully.  Period.

    Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

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    Are You Ready To Move Onto Something Better than Workplace Bullying?

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    Are you ready to let go?  Another question:  Are you ready to move onto something better with regard to dealing with your workplace bullying?  In my book Bully Free At Work , I highlight a step-by-step plan on ‘moving through’ in Chapter 8:  Handling The Bully.

    There still might be some ways that you are resisting the change you so deserve.  Take note to a better, more hopeful, future.

    Denial

    “There is nothing (really) wrong.”

    “I really can’t change this situation.” (Not true – we can always do something)

    “It will be okay – the bully was nice to me today.  I think they’re coming around.” (Refer to ‘The Bullying Cycle’ in Chapter 7).

    “What good will it do to change?”

    “It (i.e. the bullying) will go away.”

    “I don’t want to talk about it.”

    Fear

    “They’ll reject me.” (Aren’t they doing that anyway?)

    “I might get hurt.” (Aren’t you already hurt?)

    “I may have to change  i.e. my job, my behavior, etc.” (Is what you have right now worth holding on to?)

    “It’s hard.” (Yes, it is; but so is a slow death of not doing anything).

    Steps to Take for Moving Through

    Come to terms with your resistance (if you have any).

    Make a list of what you would like to do instead.

    Know that nothing is bad forever.

    Know that bullies bully because they can.  You must change your boundary to let them know this is not acceptable.

    In case you are doubting if this is worth the time and effort to address (a resistance tactic), remember:  there is never an excuse for rude behavior.  It is unacceptable.  Period.

    Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

    You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1895

    © Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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    What To Do When The Bully Attacks You With Accusations That Are Not True

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    The scenario from one of our readers:  How do I stop a bully boss from ‘attacking’ me with untrue accusations? He believes the customer over me. When I try and interrupt him, he puts me on hold.

    Ask: “What Does My Boss Probably Want?”

    1. In this case, the boss probably wants to be seen as competent and capable; in fact, most of us do.
    2. Consider that it may be difficult for this boss to know exactly how to handle a customer’s complaint. They may be wrestling with ‘never make the customer wrong’ and they may also be wrestling with ‘any employee behavior is seen as a reflection on this boss personally’. This boss may have trouble separating the customer’s needs with supporting and leading employees.
    3. This boss probably does not want to be interrupted, but heard as well, especially since they may have just had it out with a customer.

    Ask: “What Do I Want?”

    1. What do we want from our boss? Usually support, recognition and to be believed.
    2. We want our boss to listen to us until we feel heard.
    3. We want our boss to listen to the customer without compromising the morale of the staff.

    What’s Really Going On?

    1. The boss is responsible to run the company and maintain customers and happy staff.
    2. The boss would probably be more apt to listen to an employee especially when he/she feels supported and allowed to speak until he/she is finished (even if he/she is wrong and making false accusations).
    3. The boss may be trying to maintain his/her own need to be seen as effective over looking at the truth of the matter (your view vs the customer’s view).

    What You Can Do

    1. Allow your boss to finish his/her statements, especially if they have anger attached to them. Let the hot air out of the balloon first.
    2. Remind yourself that by pushing back at that particular time, you will not likely win.
    3. Choose to approach your boss after the dust settles and when your boss has time to hear you.
    4. Have a ‘classy’ crucial conversation that counts! (Taking the high road to where you want to lead the bully).

    Valerie Cade, CSP is a Workplace Bullying Expert, Speaker and Author of “Bully Free at Work:  What You Can Do To Stop Workplace Bullying Now!” which has been distributed in over 100 countries worldwide.  For presentations and consulting on workplace bullying prevention and respectful workplace implementation, go to  http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com

    You have permission to use the above article in your newsletter, publication or email system using this email link only and not by reproducing the article as full text. http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=1892

    © Bully Free at Work. All rights reserved: All trademarks used or referred to on this site are the property of their respective owners. No materials on this site may be reproduced, altered, or further distributed without Bully Free at Work’s prior written permission.

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