We seem to be trapped in a cycle of violence and hate that we can’t escape thanks to technology. The news is full of many, many acts of bullying and incivility, and if you turn your television off to escape it all, you’ll find it coming through your Facebook feed instead.
I can see that this spotlight on bullying has inspired employers to pause and look around their own work environments. Indeed, my business has been booming lately as the fact that adults can and do bully has become frighteningly crystal clear for those who didn’t already know that.
But let’s talk about workplace bullies.
Contrary to popular belief that people who bully can’t change, my own experience coaching “bullies” finds that people who bully can – and want to – change. They bully because they want to be seen as uber-competent, and they mistakenly believe that aggression allows them to achieve that goal. They may also be annoyed by perceived incompetence of those around them, and lack in the social and emotional intelligence to work through that.
And here’s the kicker – they don’t know how damaging their behaviors truly are. They are intimidating, embarrassing, and insulting others with a complete lack of self-awareness.
As I think about this, it makes me wonder, how many of us are wandering around engaging in behaviors we shouldn’t?
Part of my coaching process is to interview 8-10 people and understand perceptions of my coaching client. What would 8-10 people say about me? What would they say about you?
Am I a bully? Are you a bully?
Sounds far-fetched, I know. But just to be safe, I created this assessment to ensure we are all doing our best to make the workplace a better, more positive place.
I’m all about solutions, so if you’re interested in how to get rid of your inner workplace bully once and for all, you can check out my Forbes article, Seven Steps You Can Take If You Think You Might be a Workplace Bully.