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workplace bullying

Workplace Bullying

Workplace bullying can appear in many shapes and forms. It can occur within one organisation, it can be directed from clients and even business owners themselves can take on a bullying personality.

Any shape of bullying, whether it be passive or micro-aggressive should be avoided at all times. People in corporate environmnets can get caught up in their emotions and instead of a healthy outlet, resort to bullying tactics to get what they want at the expense of others.

workplace bullying

The Client Bully

Business owners know these personalities too well. Clients and customers can easily find themselves with the upper hand when negotiating sales. Big egos are prone to this and they will try their utmost best to get the best out of you for as little as possible. 

These personalities can take advantage of the universal “the client is always right” policy. Pushing friendships to convey a “we’re friends” attitude can also be a bullying tactic used by clients and customers.

Be careful not to fall for it. Business is business and the effort to keep a bullying client happy is not worth the mental exhaustion.

The Office Bully

We all know an office bully. It is important to keep an eye out for any red flags, as these personalities can be very damaging to an entire team. Bullies will never take the blame and always has an excuse that usually points to someone else. Classic workplace bullying tactic. 

They can be micro aggressive or passive aggressive and any behaviours that make you feel threatened should be taken up with management. Most companies have proper procedures in place to protect employees.

The Sales Bully

Sales-driven people can be hard to please. They know how to get what they want at the price they need. Constant phone calls and follow ups can be exhausting to keep up with. Giving in is essentially any good sales person’s goal.

This does not mean you should fall for it every time. Practice healthy ways to decline offers you are not interested in. Being aggressive in sales is outdated and we have learned too much about emotional intelligence to use it as a selling method today.

Kindness and transparency always pays off in the end. Establishing healthy relationships with clients will last many years.

The Boss Bully

Unfortunately this has been a reality for many people in the workforce. This is a scary place to be, because if you put one foot wrong, your boss will know about it. Bosses who bully usually keep a hawk’s eye on their victims, looking for reasons to be unfair.

A typical boss bully could even use subtle techniques like never giving you work-related compliments to try and get to you. This could escalate into other problems where your boss may be verbally abusive or will go as far as to undermine your work.

These types of scenarios are rare. This is because the South African labour force is well protected against these types of workplace pitfalls. Serious action should be taken if you feel threatened by a boss or manager.

Read more about toxic co-workers