Defining Bullying as Essential Tool for Maintaining Civility at Work

by Nov 13, 2015

Bullying was defined as the “repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators”, and the definition was used in the 2014 WBI US Workplace Bullying Survey. By defining bullying, we can shed some light to thinking of workplace bullying solutions, like policy making or systematizing grievances.

The survey showed that workplace bullying is driven by the perpetrator’s need to control his targets, is initiated by bullies in consideration of a specific target, time, place and method, and is a set of acts of commission and omission. Acts of commission include actively doing things to others while acts of omission can go as far as withholding resources for others such as non release of payroll which gives a dent on building a civil workplace.

Basically, bullying can be contagious and could undermine legitimate organizational goals. Moreover, it was found out to be akin to domestic violence at work. Such problems show a need of an anti-bullying corporate policy, or the organization might suffer serious losses.

The study also pointed out that the languages we use pretty much reflects the work culture or one’s manner on how he views things. Having lots of synonyms for the term ‘bullying’ reflects the issue’s seriousness while lots of euphemisms, on the other hand, signifies a culture which trivializes bullying. In the end, one might consider availing workplace bullying consulting services for professional assistance

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About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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