Subtle Signs of Workplace Bullying to Take Note of While Building a Civil Workplace

by Dec 10, 2015

It was reported that one out of four employees is affected by workplace bullying which threatens civility at work. Furthermore, there is also a misconception that bullying is always overt, as there are times and situations where bullying behavior can be subtle, slow, and insidious which, most of the time, goes off undetected.

The problem with bullying is that the perpetrator has the intention to control the target’s behavior usually for personal gains, agenda, or self-serving motives. They often use a variety of subtle and not so subtle ways to control others emotionally, psychologically, and even physically. And an organization should be aware of the negative impacts of bullying and must think of workplace bullying solutions immediately.

In building a civil workplace, it is essential to take note of subtle signs of bullying in order to prevent such issue from ever happening. These subtle signs include deceit, intimidation, isolation, ignoring, rationalization, minimization, diversion, guilt, undermining, mood swings, blaming, and seduction. Some even pit employees against each other, withhold information, changing expectations, or create a feeling of uselessness. Identifying these subtle signs would be essential in drafting an anti-bullying corporate policy or laying down several workplace bullying prevention programs.

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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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