The biggest obstacle for targets in the workplace is identifying they are a target of persistent workplace aggression. Most professionals do not associate bullying or persistent workplace aggression as something that happens to adults but rather to children. As such, we do not often link the mistreatment by coworkers to bullying at work.  We just call it unprofessional behavior.  However, it might be more than that. 

Determining the frequency and intensity of the aggression is the first step in identifying if you are a target at work. Workers should keep track of how often the bad behavior is occurring and rate how damaging the mistreatment is. Recording what kind of aggression is happening is also imperative This helps in the process of establishing if the workplace is impacted by aggression.

It is important to remember that persistent workplace aggression can occur on a daily, weekly, and/or monthly basis. Persistent workplace aggression is unrelenting mistreatment and exploitation. Maintaining a log for a length of time is vital to help develop a better picture of what is happening.

Persistent workplace aggression influences the target in a negative fashion and typically affects the workers ability to do their job. So for example, are you struggling with sleeping or eating because of the treatment of at work? Are you so worried about the response of the aggressor that your ability to complete your paperwork in a timely fashion suffers? I know for myself, I required something to help me sleep and spent so much time responding to the aggressors that I did not have adequate time to prepare for teaching, as I should.  Determining how the bad behavior is impacting you at your job and outside of work helps identify if you are a target.

A significant change in ones attitude about work can help establish if persistent workplace aggression is occurring. Are you constantly thinking about finding another job or quitting? Are you persistently checking the clock to see if it is time to go? Do you have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally before you go into work?

I did a lot of self-talk to get ready for the abusive environment daily. As I walked from the parking lot to my building, I would feel the weight of the abuse on my shoulders as I got closer to my office and I would tell myself I could make it through another day. I had songs I would sing to boost myself up for another day of mistreatment. I made excuses to leave work early because leaving work was always a relief.

Determining the pattern and intensity of the mistreatment coupled with the affect it is having helps to identifying if you are a target.  Putting a name to the problem and identifying that persistent workplace aggression is happening is important. It really is the first step in the process of coping and developing a better understanding of the work environment. If you are not sure whether you are experiencing persistent workplace aggression, please contact me at jankircher@jankircher.com or (320) 309-2360. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com.



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