For new and long-time readers alike, I’ve rounded up the 10 most popular 2014 Minding the Workplace posts on workplace bullying, as measured by “hits” or page views. Simply click on the titles to access the full articles:
Targets of workplace bullying: The stress and anxiety of figuring out what the h**l is going on (November) — “One of the most significant stressors in experiencing workplace bullying is sorting out what is happening to you. The bullying behaviors themselves are bad enough, but the process of comprehending that you’re being targeted — especially when the bullying is covert or indirect — often adds a solid layer of stress and anxiety. What the h**l is going on here? is a question that runs through a lot of minds.”
New California law directs larger employers to engage in workplace bullying training and education for supervisors (September) — “Earlier this week, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation (Assembly Bill No. 2053) requiring employers of 50 or more workers to engage in training and education for supervisors concerning workplace bullying. …These employers are now directed to include ‘prevention of abusive conduct’ in their supervisor training and education programs. The definition of ‘abusive conduct’ draws heavily from versions of the Healthy Workplace Bill….”
Workplace bullying and the “weak” target (August) — “Some who doubt the severity and prevalence of workplace bullying suggest that those who report being treated abusively at work are somehow “weak” or “oversensitive” and thus are prone to exaggerate their situations. Oftentimes, these sentiments are buttressed by an unspoken belief that self-proclaimed targets of bullying simply lack the requisite toughness to deal with the ups and downs of the workplace. In other words, those who can’t handle it should either toughen up or go away. It’s a faulty belief system that we need to keep responding to and rebutting.”
Workplace bullying as crazy making abuse (August) — “Crazy making” is a term one hears a lot in counseling and psychology. It basically means what it sounds like: Behaviors and actions — often intended — that create stress, confusion, and anxiety, and sometimes make people question their judgment and even sanity. There are lots of overlaps between workplace bullying and the concept of crazy making, in ways that validate bullying as a form of psychological torture. In this post I’m drawing on previous commentaries in an effort to understand those interrelationships.
When superficial civility supports workplace abusers (and their enablers) (June) — “But at times, the organizational embrace of a superficial brand of civility can advantage those who engage in bullying, harassment, or discrimination at work. It often starts with mistreatment masked by a steady, calm demeanor. This may include behaviors that are calculated to be plausibly deniable, such as bullying by omission (e.g., exclusion and ostracism), “lighter” forms of harassment, or indirect discrimination.”
How to deny, discount, and dismiss bullying and psychological abuse at work (May) — “A recent blog piece by psychologist Kenneth Pope explaining how reports of torture can be easily denied, discounted, and dismissed strongly resonated with my understanding of the dynamics of bullying and abuse at work. I thought it worth sharing and discussing with readers here.”
Dealing with a bad workplace: Getting to tolerance (March) — “If national studies on workplace bullying and job dissatisfaction are any indication, a lot of people are dealing with lousy workplaces. These experiences can cause no small amounts of anxiety and stress, resulting in significant human and organizational costs. …In terms of energy levels, these realities can leave people in a state of utter despair or recurring anger and conflict. For folks in these places, getting to tolerance is a goal worth pursuing.”
Pass ’em on: Two short videos about workplace bullying and the Healthy Workplace Bill (February) — “The American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence produced this three-minute animated video about workplace bullying…. Deb Falzoi of the Massachusetts Healthy Workplace Advocates produced this six-minute video about the Healthy Workplace Bill….”
The bullied and the button pushers (January) — “Workplace aggressors are often experts at button pushing. They know how to get a rise out of someone, and if it causes the target to say or do something that gives the aggressors even more of an upper hand, then all the better. Under stress, targets can engage in self-defeating behaviors, and crossing the line in responding to abusive work situations is a frequent one.”
APA launches new webpage on workplace bullying (January) — The American Psychological Association’s Center for Organizational Excellence has just launched its new webpage of resources for employers and individuals who want to learn more about preventing and responding to workplace bullying….It was my privilege to serve as a pro bono subject matter expert to the Center and its director, Dr. David Ballard, in developing this page and the accompanying video….”
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