Popular 2016 posts on workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse

(Image courtesy of free-letters.com)

(Image courtesy of free-letters.com)

I’ve assembled a baker’s dozen of the most popular 2016 posts on workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse from this blog. If you missed any of them the first time around, here they are. If there’s a piece you’d like to read again, I hope you find it interesting.

Workplace bullying and the experience of humiliation (November) — “Humiliation is a word that can make us squirm uncomfortably. It is one of the least desirable of human emotions. Over the years, many people who have experienced severe workplace bullying, mobbing, and abuse have invoked the term to describe their experiences, especially when the mistreatment has played out publicly, ripped apart relationships, ended a career, or undermined an ability to earn a livelihood. In such cases, coping with and healing from humiliation are key parts of the road to recovery.”

Workplace bullying, psychological trauma, and the challenge of storytelling (September) — “What happens when the experience of psychological trauma makes it difficult for a lawyer and client to build a coherent understanding of a prospective legal case or claim for benefits? How can an individual’s wrought emotional state make it difficult to put together a basic chronology and description of events related to a legal dispute and the resulting harm, including pain & suffering and emotional distress? I now understand how insights from neuroscience help to explain why some individuals face such difficulties in providing coherent narratives of their abusive work experiences.”

Workplace mobbing: Understanding the maelstrom (September) — “In mobbing situations, targeted individuals often feel besieged as they face ongoing, seemingly constant, attacks from multiple sources. I find myself invoking the word maelstrom to characterize their experiences. It’s not a term that I often use, but when I consulted several dictionaries to verify that I was using it correctly, I found myself vigorously nodding my head….”

Are ethical employees more likely to be workplace bullying targets? (June) — “First, whistleblowers are often bullied as a form of retaliation. This is the proverbial no-brainer. Challenging the legality and ethics of decisions and actions made in a less-than-wonderful organization can quickly place a target on one’s back.”

Targets of workplace bullying: A short checklist for assessing options (June) — “Getting to that better place, however, is no easy task. To help people understand the scope of potential options, here is a quick checklist of possibilities, with a note that the legal and employee benefit options are specific to U.S. readers….”

Like Dracula, workplace narcissists have reason to fear the sunlight (June) — “Like Dracula, workplace narcissists work best in the dark and in the shadows. Operating in stealth mode, they strive to ensure that their targets are left to defend themselves alone. They can quietly pick off these victims that way, one-by-one.”

Real-life Gilderoy Lockharts: Narcissistic professors, their students, and bullying at work (May) — “While the pompous Lockhart makes for some good chuckles in the Harry Potter world, the real-life impact of narcissistic instructors on their students may be no laughing matter. In fact, a new study suggests a troubling connection to students’ academic performance. A research team from Appalachian State University led by Prof. James Westerman conducted a study of professors and undergraduate students from a university business school, examining the potential impact of narcissistic faculty members on more and less narcissistic students.”

Trump: If you’re bullied, get over it (May) — “Donald Trump continues his apparently relentless campaign to prove that he is the most empathy-free presidential candidate in U.S. history. During an interview with Fox news anchor Megyn Kelly, he shares his view that targets of bullying just have to get over it.”

Courageous, artistic, workplace anti-bullying advocacy at MA State House (April) — “Above all, this is what moral courage is all about. Fourteen individuals have stepped forward to put very human faces on this movement. Not happy, smiley faces either. Rather, stern, serious, angry, and pained faces of people who are calling for change. They’re trying to tell us something, yes? I am proud to acknowledge and salute them.”

Slow retaliation: When workplace payback is subtle, nuanced, and drawn out (March) — “But there’s another, insidious form of retaliation sometimes visited upon those who raise legal and ethical concerns at work. This type of retaliation lacks the sudden oomph that easily trips the legal wires of anti-retaliation provisions and whistleblower laws. Rather, it may come in milder doses, such as smaller raises, fewer opportunities for advancement, petty criticisms and slights, and selective marginalization that stops short of complete exclusion.”

Workplace bullying: From target to subject matter expert (March) — “On occasion I receive inquiries that go something like this: I’ve been a target of workplace bullying. I’ve learned a lot from this experience and want to help make sure that others don’t go through what I did. In fact, I’d like to do some work in this area. How can I go about this?

Coaching for workplace bullies and toxic bosses? (March) — “For what it’s worth, here is my nutshell sense of this question: Many abrasive leaders can be coached to be more respectful of their co-workers and more mindful of how their words and actions are being perceived. However, many abusive leaders — especially those presenting traits suggestive of psychopathy, sociopathy, or severe narcissism — will not change their ways with coaching.”

Kiss up, kick down (January) — “Well folks, you know that the vocabulary of workplace bullying and incivility has gone mainstream when certain commonly associated phrases are the subject of Wikipedia articles. In this case, the other night I took note of the fact that one of my favorites, ‘kiss up, kick down,’ has crossed into Wiki-land….”

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