Bullying is defined as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words, or more subtle actions. In recent months, during the pandemic, you often saw cyber bullying, which can occur over emails, social media and digital platforms and is often used to spread gossip and rumors, which can harm not only employee’s reputations but the reputation of the board or community.
All too often we see bullying by our peers, superiors, residents, board members, even vendors at times. This conduct is not only unhealthy, but also adds unnecessary stress and related health effects, which can be both physical and mental. It is a form of workplace harassment and violence.
There are ways to address bullying, but be wise about it and never put yourself or others in danger of a person who may become violent.
- Talk with the bully privately, again being aware of the person you are addressing and whether they may become violent.
- Criticize the behavior and not the person.
- Stick to the facts.
- Do not get emotional.
- Ask why they are attacking and belittling; why they behave the way they do. Get to the bottom of the problem.
- Have a witness to the conversation, again, for safety purposes – it’s always wise to have a witness.
- Stay calm; be professional at all times.
- If the bully is an employee, document the conversation and review with HR.
We aren’t psychologists, but understanding the underlying issue of the bullying can go a long way to resolving the issue itself.
Paraphrased from Florida Journal Community Association, May 2021
by Diana Quigley, Education and Change Management Manager, Campbell Property Management