Do you have a bully at work?

It seems like kind of an odd question does it not. I thought so too until I came to realize just how big of a problem it is right now in corporate America. It is estimated that 35% of adults have experienced workplace bullying sometime in their career. I suspect you do know a bully and I bet that you have dismissed his/her behavior as them just being them. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, which is why I think it is important to discuss this issue.

Workplace bullying is far more pervasive than most of us might imagine. It has many faces and shows up often when we least expect it. The challenge we have is identifying a workplace bully. We typically do not associate the term bully with the workplace, as it seems more appropriate in the schoolyard or the locker room. I wish that was the case and it was that easy. The same behavior that the schoolyard bully exhibited exists in cubes, lunchrooms and parking lots across this country. The damage to ones psyche, self-esteem and overall morale is real and no less significant. I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to be in the presence of a workplace bully. In many ways, not that much different from when I was kid but in some ways, more traumatic because of my unwillingness to let anyone else know about my situation. I felt isolated, alone, peculiar and never felt like I fit in. Early in my career, with little confidence and fewer resources, I did what many do (with few options) and found another job. One of the most difficult stages of recovery is the first one: admitting that there is a problem.

Do yourself a favor and stop running, hiding and rationalizing his or her behavior. You deserve much better and if it is to change then it is incumbent upon you to raise your hand and tell someone right now.