The modern workplace is designed to encourage and reward assertive individuals. The stereotypical boss is usually imagined as an aggressive person, even mean when they need to be, yelling at employees who fall out of line. Those who are intimidated or hurt by these behaviors are often told to toughen up or get over it. That’s just the way it goes, right? Not necessarily. Workplace bullying and harassment too often get a pass. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, more than a quarter of survey respondents said they were victims of bullying, harassment, or verbal abuse at work. It’s important that a line is drawn between “tough love” and actual abuse. If a co-worker or a boss’s go-to response to conflict is to start yelling, for example, that’s unacceptable. Bullying doesn't benefit anyone, and if bullies are allowed to thrive in our workplaces, the workplaces will be toxic environments. Holding people accountable for their actions and refusing to accept their behavior is an important step in creating healthier work environments for everyone.
Addressing Workplace Bullying