Of course, we all know that it is always ‘they’ that do or don’t do something that means ‘I’ look bad or get into trouble.   It might seem obvious to you that targets of workplace bullying say and think this way.  However, this sort of thinking could be what is driving your boss.  In fact, your boss might be thinking this about you!  If knowing how to deal with bullying at work is your aim, having some idea of the head set and action set of the key players, like your boss, can be key.how to deal with bullying at work

Don’t get me wrong.  Knowing where your boss is coming from is unlikely to get the bullying stopped.  However, it could put you in a better position to shift the playing field.  Insights like what’s in it for your boss to do certain things they always do … or don’t do … could help you alter what is happening on a day basis.

Some bosses, for instance, cannot stand confrontation.  They avoid it like the plague!  They are all chummy and understanding when you raise and describe the situation.  Sympathy is their middle name.  They know the rules or guidelines that have been bent or broken by your bully.  They even know just what words to use or new rules to bring in to so things are done better but somehow, nothing changes.

Maybe your bosses’ version of avoiding confrontation is to promise that they will do something about a bully but never get around to taking action.  Maybe your boss has lots of excuses for why the critical conversation has not yet happened.  “I have been busy.”  “Something came up, so it will get done next week.”  Maybe your boss thinks this situation is one that HR should deal with but does not have, or rather find, the time to speak with anyone from HR.  “It’s not a thing you just flick off a quick email about, you know.”

Having a boss who is anything but a fine example of how to deal with bullying at work is frustrating to say the least.  “They’re the boss.  They’re getting paid to tell people what to do.  Why don’t they just do it?  Don’t they understand what this is doing to me?”  In short, the answer is no, they don’t really understand what it is doing to you.  However, they do know what it is doing to them to even think about how to deal with bullying at work!

How to deal with bullying at work – Helping your boss has potential

If avoiding confrontation is your boss’ way of dealing with workplace bullying, taking control has potential.  Now I don’t mean, calling them to task or telling them what to do in a loud voice – that is confrontation in your boss’ book and it’s likely to get the book thrown at you rather than the bully!  The idea is to use the system to help your boss do what they ought.  Maybe you can help them in a way that will make things better for you.How to deal with bullying at work

Say your bully continually blocks, delays or refuses to make changes that are important to your job success.  Maybe a new change request process would improve things, a process that gives your boss the kudos of championing proposals at team meetings.  Publicly airing their ideas on practicality and time lines as ‘co-champion’ could appeal to your bully.  In this scenario, everyone knows about the proposed changes rather than you being the sole witness of the bully’s opinion and resistance.  Now, while this approach to change might not work every time, helping your boss out with some creative ideas might just result in a ‘win-win-better’ outcome for your boss, your bully and you.

If you want to change your outcomes and get ideas on how to deal with bullying at work, visit HowToDealWithABullyAtWork.com.  Then, work out where your boss is coming from, and get creative!