Top Management Workplace Bullies
Joan Jerkovich - May 1, 2014 7:00 am
Working with a manager who bullies you at work can leave you feeling anxious. You dread going to work. If the incidents are bad enough, they can send you mentally crashing and searching for time in your schedule to visit a therapist. You feel down and depressed, miserable, frustrated, and in need of a mental health day. As we spend the majority of our lives at work, this is not the way to spend your days.
In my career as a Life Coach, I have talked with specialized Business Coaches who work with high-level executives. These CEO types can be a breed of “Difficult” all their own. They excel at business, which is why they’ve made it to the top, but many run in to trouble after they’ve crawled all over subordinates to get there. That’s when CEO stands for: (C) Can’t (E) Empathize with (O) Others!
Sub·or·di·nate: lower in rank or position; a person under the authority or control of another within an organization; treat or regard as of lesser importance
When it comes to top managers being bullies to their co-workers, they’re savvy. They didn’t get to the top of the corporate ladder by being stupid, so they know just how far they can push the limits of harassment before getting called out. They walk the proverbial fence of “nice-enough”, competent, business guy versus “jerk-at-work”.
Why don’t they get called out more often for their “insensitive” (and I self-edited something nicer with that word) ways? Think about it, who wants to risk losing their job by making a complaint against the boss? This is why the incidents of employee mistreatment and bullying can go on for years and years before boss-man is sent to a specialized CEO or Business Life Coach or Counselor. Usually, they are ordered to get help after the number of employee complaints become too great to ignore but…here’s the catch…when they’re sent to Coaching the bully attitude rears its ugly head.
These top managers feel betrayed by their employer. Why? Well, they’ve been treating co-workers like this for years (!) and don’t understand why they’re being called out now? They generally have no concept of what they’ve done wrong. They generally aren’t sorry. But, business-men that they are, they are smart enough to recognize it’s time to knuckle down and get to work on fixing this company problem. They often take a practical hurry up and get this done approach. They treat it like just one more glitch in the corporate machine; adopt a “get ‘er done” attitude so they can get back to the “real” work of their jobs.
Will this change their personality? Doubtful, but with the right Coaching or Counseling these workplace bullies can learn to treat co-workers in a way that improves the organization as a whole, boosts morale and bolsters efficiency.
How do you know if you’re the target of a workplace bully? As taken from an article at Forbes.com, you are being bullied at work if you are:
- Constantly criticized
- Yelled and screamed at
- Insulted and humiliated in front of co-workers
- Falsely accused of making errors
- Blamed for mistakes you didn’t make
- Remembered for all the mistakes you ever made
- Not allowed to “move on” from your mistakes
- The victim of malicious gossip and lies
- Isolated and singled out
- Not invited to lunches and meetings
- Sabotaged in ways to set you up for failure
- Scheduled for work with no regard for your personal commitments
- Not credited for work you did
- Finding the boss taking credit for your work, ideas and brilliance!
Sorry guys if I made this blog all about workplace men who are bullies, but rarely is it a women. Blame it on testosterone if you’d like, but if you get asked to seek help for this, I hope you do more than just move through the steps. I would hope that you take this opportunity to look inside for real, personal change…but I’m not going to hold my breath on that happening.
To the bully’s victims I say, vow to do what you can within the organization to improve your workplace situation; or vow to get out. NO ONE deserves to be bullied, at work or otherwise! For help and to hear from a victim who’s been there, listen to my radio talk show on Workplace Harassment; Top Management Bullies.
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