A good deal of confusion and misunderstanding exists regarding workplace bullying , and employers are encouraged to redefine and change their attitudes and processes in relation to this serious matter.

Workplace bullying has long been addressed using the organisation’s dispute or conflict resolution procedures. However since bullying is about abuse , not conflict, this approach may well re-victimise the complainant as they feel they are seen as equally culpable as the abuser. Victims of workplace bullying need support, protection and empathy. Workplace bullies do not require any of these  considerations.

Management, it must be said , are usually more inclined to believe and support their senior or executive staff in these matters , and this provides the bully with the opportunity to continue the abuse. Bullies in the workplace engage in the same ‘grooming’ type behaviours as other abusers. They establish their credentials and their reputation with a selected group , and can then rely on this group to support them and deny the possibility they are abusive.

Bullies do not bully everyone in their vicinity. They will carefully select their target , usually one with little or no obvious status or support, and so their word is deemed worthless against the abuser. Sound familiar? Yes, workplace bullying is just as insidious as child abuse or spousal abuse or elder abuse, and just as destructive.

Time for a shift in attitudes and approaches to ensure that workplace bullying does not  result in the deaths by suicide that have occurred as an outcome of bullying in many other organisations.


You can download the workplace manual for assessing and dealing with workplace bullying. This program enables your workplace to gather data, write policy and determine new approaches based on input from all personnel. It is a unique, customised approach which empowers all employees to contribute to a safe workplace.


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  • What we know about Bullying at work