So you’ve finished school. And college. And you think the days of being picked on by the biggest kid on the playground are over? Think again! Bullying at the workplace, usually by a more powerful (read, senior) person in the office is not a rare phenomenon.

Premilla D’Cruz and Ernesto Norohna, Organizational Behaviour professors at IIM Ahmedabad, had conducted a study on workplace bullying among the ITeS employees in India, in 2010. The findings reveal without a doubt that bullying does exist at the Indian workplace.

Bullying can take many forms, such as insulting a person in public, picking on their work without good reason, making personal remarks, or even spreading rumours about them in the office, and making them feel isolated.

How do you deal with a workplace bully?

Anjana Verma*, a call centre team leader, is of the opinion that standing up to the bully and escalating the issue to the concerned line manager can help if the escalation procedure is robust. Anjana herself has been bullied by her own manager, which she successfully escalated to the next in line.

Rishita Pandey*, a middle level manager in an MNC, opines that it is better to deal with bullies tactically. She states, “Usually, a straight forward confrontation is not useful. Most bullies continue their behaviour since they are used to getting a positive response. Give them a non-routine response that will throw them off a little.” Don’t let the bully know that you are afraid or intimidated by his aggression.

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Both Anjana and Rishita agree that women are more susceptible to being bullied because they are generally perceived as the weaker sex. Things become even more difficult when it is the line manager bullying you – since it becomes harder to escalate the complaint unless you have an objective and supportive HR team and policies.

Learn more about workplace bullying in India, and how you can deal with a situation if you are being bullied at work.

Article contributed by Women’s Web

Women’s Web is an online magazine and community for the thinking woman. Here, you will find interesting and useful information on Career development, Managing work and family, Successful women, Entrepreneurship, Women’s health and personal finances.


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