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Crucial Conversations: How To Talk To The Bully

By Valerie Cade CSP

Have you ever wondered how to say what you need to say to the bully… not at the expense of the bully or yourself?

How To Have a Classy Crucial Conversation that Counts:

Classy: Respectful, win-win, seeking the best for all.
Crucial: A needed conversation to move an issue forward for what’s “best” for the company
Conversation: A dialogue where both people are engaged and exchanging ideas and information.
Counts: Be sure that the conversation ends with a resolution or shared agreement.

Keys for a Classy Crucial Conversation:

  1. In order to have more control, the target should decide when the conversation will take place. Do not react to when the Bully attacks you; decide when you are ready to converse in order to get the best outcome.
  2. As a target, the Bully is hoping you do not have the strength to stand up for yourself. They feel better when you are down.
  3. By having a classy crucial conversation you will be starting to set stronger boundaries, which will protect you and help to avoid future conflicts.

How to Proceed:

  1. Define clearly what the situation is – something you wished was different e.g. a behavior, or a circumstance.
  2. What would you like to see happen instead of the stated situation above?
  3. Use the Classy Crucial Conversation Planner to assist you.

Using the Classy Crucial Conversation Planner:

1. Start with a Classy Statement to show your good will as opposed to a demand.

Example:My desire is to have a win win and to support you and our customers as best as I can”.

2. Add another Classy Statement in the form of a question:

“Can I share something with you?” (the invitation).

3. The conversation:

“When (this) happens…” (share your issue/situation/what happened in your perception):
For example: “When you believe the customer over me…”

“I feel/think…” (how it affects you personally):
I feel invalidated and hurt.”

“What I would like is…” (your expectation): Just be clear and say it…
“What I would like is for you to consider my view of what happened and also believe me as to the fact that it did happen.”

Then ask: “Can you do this?” Yes or No.
• If yes – confirm agreement: “Just so I’m clear, our agreement is….”
• If later the agreement is broken: “I thought our agreement was…”
• If no – Ask Why?” . You may need more information (i.e.) maybe they have a good reason or a different understanding.

Question:

Have you ever attempted to talk to a bully? What happened? What did you do? How did you feel? What do you recommend?

Next Week: What To Do When the Bully Does Not Hear Your Request

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Topics: Tips | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Crucial Conversations: How To Talk To The Bully”

  1. Dawn Says:
    May 21st, 2008 at 9:51 am

    I attempted to have a classy, crucial conversation with a bully. I was careful to be respectful, professional and to use “I” statements. She was not agreeable to the idea that I had certain rights that I wanted her to honor. She would not commit to anything and relayed that she felt that she was being attacked. There is a long history of her not being able to take responsibility for her impact on working relationships. The saga continues.

  2. Janey Says:
    June 2nd, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Just keep supporting yourself any way you can, read, talk to supportive people, do reality checks, know that it is not your fault.
    Take care of you and talk to your mind, pray, do whatever you have to do.
    Fight, fight, fight, and that means constant action inside of yourself, join toastmasters public speaking and speak about your experience, go to bookstores and talk to strangers, only take the comments internally that support you and disregard the rest, right to your polititians, sometimes taking action can put you back in control, by doing all of the above for yourself, talk, talk, talk, no matter what anyone says, write articles for magazines, write a diary.

    I pray for you in Jesus Mighty name that you are completely healed from this and the rest of your life is happy and fullfilled.

    God Bless you, remember to JESUS, you are his beautiful creation and he loves you very much, tell him about it and he will work a mighty work to take care of the situation for you.
    I Knew of a girl being harassed by her boss for one year, and she prayed for a year and the boss went on a skiing trip and broke both her legs she could not work for 1 year and when she came back, she was nice to the girl. Let Jesus do what you cannot.

    Hugs.

    Jan

  3. Janey Says:
    June 2nd, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    Just keep supporting yourself any way you can, read, talk to supportive people, do reality checks, know that it is not your fault.
    Take care of you and talk to your mind, pray, do whatever you have to do.
    Fight, fight, fight, and that means constant action inside of yourself, join toastmasters, public speaking and speak about your experience, go to bookstores and talk to strangers, only take the comments internally that support you and disregard the rest, write to your polititians, sometimes taking action can put you back in control, by doing all of the above for yourself, talk, talk, talk, no matter what anyone says, write articles for magazines, write a diary.

    I pray for you in Jesus Mighty name that you are completely healed from this and the rest of your life is happy and fullfilled.

    God Bless you, remember to JESUS, you are his beautiful creation and he loves you very much, tell him about it and he will work a mighty work to take care of the situation for you.
    I Knew of a girl being harassed by her boss for one year, and she prayed for a year and the boss went on a skiing trip and broke both her legs she could not work for 1 year and when she came back, she was nice to the girl. Let Jesus do what you cannot.

    Hugs.

    Jan

  4. Is The Bully At Work Still Not Hearing You? | Bully Free at Work Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 8:26 am

    [...] You can make a clear confident request, and perhaps you’ll be heard. For some ideas about setting up a conversation, check out our post on Crucial Conversations: http://www.bullyfreeatwork.com/blog/?p=62 [...]

  5. SAIKAT DASGUPTA Says:
    July 22nd, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Hello,

    Your articles are extremely helpful.

    I have observed that in workplace newcommers and Juniors are given more rewards and authority over old workers and are recognised more even though wok has been done by old workers.How to confront this.

    Regards
    Saikat

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