Bullying, as defined by Dr. Gary
Namie, director of the Workplace Bullying Institute (www.bullyinginstitute.org), is not mere incivility,
but a “laser-focused campaign of destruction” waged by one
individual against another, preventing the victim from succeeding
at work and causing health problems, such as depression, along the
Define it. Namie says
the first step for victims is to think of the abuse as serious
harassment, more akin to domestic violence than playground
posturing. Address your health and well-being first, and seek
support from a psychologist or other professional.
Make a business case.
While some bullying constitutes discrimination, many forms of
bullying aren’t illegal, and consequently employers might not take
action against offenders. Victims should point out to higher-ups
that employing the bully costs too much in lost productivity,
absenteeism and health care.
Get out. If employers
are not persuaded by dispassionate pleas and the bully continues to
harass, find a new job. Namie says there really aren’t other
options, and the sacrifices made by staying put are too great.