The workplace bullying environment is extremely complicated and stopping it from happening is nearly next to impossible unless leaders intervene. Many leaders do not get involved because they just do not know what to do and many believe the bully over the target.  Leaders may not understand the complexity of the bullying culture and consequently believe that doing nothing is the best option. However, maintaining the status quo often re-victimizes the target making the overall environment worse. It ultimately shows support for the bully and intensifies their bad behavior. However, leaders can stop workplace bullying and guess what, it is not that difficult.

First, leaders must take this issue seriously.  Leaders tend to ignore allegations of bullying because it is easier for them. But, if they want bullying to stop, they need to believe that it can happen in their organization. Leaders who live in denial only perpetuate the problem of bullying. So, admitting there is a problem really is the first step to organizational recovery.

Leaders need to make sure that they are not involved in any bullying. If they are, they need to stop. A leader must role model the behavior they expect from their workers.  If a leader is a bully, it is likely that this conduct is being replicated by workers in the organization. So, leaders need to maintain a high standard of professional behavior to stop workplace bullying in their organization.

A leader must also communicate to their workers that bullying will not be tolerated. They need to make it clear to everyone, including the bully, the standard for professional behavior that is expected, the consequences for non-compliance and assurance that these standards will be upheld. 

Accountability is the difficult part for many leaders. They need to hold workers, especially the bully, to the guidelines they set, no matter what. This is a critical point in stopping workplace bullying and leadership should not underestimate the workplace bully. When an aggressor is confronted, they will push back and do almost anything so they are not held accountable. They have been controlling the environment and are not going not going to give this up easily. Thus, leaders need to expect the bully to challenge them and leaders need to be diligent about holding the bully accountable to follow professional behavior standards. This is vital for the leader to do no matter how difficult it is.

It is likely to be a rough go at the start, but bullying can be stopped when leaders intervene and demand that everyone maintains a high standard of professional conduct.

Contact me today at jankircher@jankircher.com or (320) 309-2360 to learn more about how to effectively intervene when workplace bullying rears its ugly head. You can also visit my website at www.jankircher.com. Help is out there.



I believe that interventions such as this one can definitely save the workplace. Being a leader requires a lot of things that need to be improved. One of these improvements is being aware of what is happening in his workplace. And as what you have mentioned here, workplace bullying should be really discussed about. Leaders must indeed make sure that bullying in the workplace should not be tolerated. There should be a process on how they can deal with this. And I do believe as well that bullying must be stopped no matter what happens.

09/14/2017 5:57am

A leader plays a very important role in any team. Although it is true that the success of a team is based on the efficiency of each member, the guidance of a leader is still very much needed. We have been trained to be part of a team at school. Leadership is a skill. It is something that can be developed through time. Whether it is for work, school project, or term paper, the role of a leader must not be taken for granted.


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