Does what we call workplace bullying really matter?  Terminology is very important in making a case for workplace bullying and using the term bullying has an impact on how persistent workplace aggression is viewed. 

Bullying in K-12 schools has been covered a great deal in the media and as such, when we hear the word bullying, our mind links bullying with children.  We visualize kids being mean to other kids on the playground or in the hallways of their schools.  Using the term bullying when referring to persistent workplace aggression with adults, decreases the likelihood that this issue will be taken seriously.  Bullying happens to children and this impacts our supervisors and/or colleagues.  Targets are often seen as being childlike and the seriousness of persistent workplace aggression is softened.

Adults should be able to deal with conflict in the workplace, shouldn’t we?  The answer is yes.  Most adults are capable of handling conflict in the workplace.  However, persistent workplace aggression is not normal conflict and it is not the same as schoolyard bullying.  It something that needs to be taken seriously and framed in a way that accurately portrays what is really happening in the workplace.  Persistent workplace aggression is complicated and sophisticated.  Framing workplace bullying as persistent workplace aggression provides a better and more accurate description of what is really happening in the workplace.  With this information, we can develop effective interventions that reduce persistent workplace aggression. Making work better for everyone!  For more information, please contact me at



08/14/2016 11:05pm

Bullying is always a big issue everywhere, even if its in school, online or the workplace. Bullying can affect the mind of the person bullied. That is why bullying should always be considered. Of course, we expect everyone in the workplace to act normal and mature. There are just instances that people still act a bad way towards other people. Bullying can cause conflicts.


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