“The Bully at Work”; how many of these apply to all you current/former ASUPD employees?

“The Bully at Work” is a pretty informative book by Dr’s Gary and Ruth Namie. In it, they discuss what workplace bullying is, why it occurs, why bullies pick their targets, and how to deal with bullies at work.

To all the current and former ASU Police employees out there, read some of these excerpts and see if they apply to you; for those admin outside of the department, think about how issues like these are affecting employee productivity and retention:

Bullying at Work

  • Bullying at work is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of a person by one or more workers that takes the form of verbal abuse; conduct or behaviors that are threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; sabotage that prevents the work from getting done; or some combination of the three.  Perpetrators are bullies; those on the receiving end are Targets.
  • It is psychological violence – sublethal and nonphysical – a mix of verbal and strategic assaults to prevent the Target from performing work well.
  • The bully puts her or his personal agenda of controlling another human being above the needs of the employing organization.
  • In 62 percent of cases, when employers are made aware of bullying, they escalate the problem for the Target or simply do nothing. 
  • Workplace bullying is a serious threat to:  (18-19)
    • Freedom from fear and trauma
    • Employee health and safety
    • Civil rights in the workplace
    • Dignity at work
    • Personal self-respect
    • Family cohesion and stability
    • Work team morale and productivity
    • Employment practices liability
    • Retention of skilled employees
    • Employer reputation

Understanding Bullies

    • Bullies can be categorized, but individuals who choose to bully can adopt any tactic at any time to accomplish their goal.   [One of these is] The Constant Critic.
      • Operates behind closed doors so that later she or he can deny what was said or done to you.  Extremely negative.  Nitpicker.  Perfectionist.  Whiner.  Complainer.  Faultfinder.  Liar.  Loved by senior management because of his ability to “get those people to produce.”
      • Constant haranguing about the Target’s “incompetence
      • Demands eye contact when he speaks but deliberately avoids eye contact when the Target speaks
      • Accuses Target of wrongdoing, blames Target for fabricated errors
      • Makes unreasonable demands for work with impossible deadlines, applies disproportionate pressure, expects perfection 
      • Excessively or harshly criticizes Target’s work or abilities 
      • Most bullies work to make themselves well-connected to senior management, executives, or owners.  While Targets focus on prideful work, bullies are busy kissing up to the big bosses. 
      • They have allies – we call them executive sponsors – willing to block punishment for malicious behavior if they are ever exposed.  The big bosses think the bullies can do no wrong.  Targets have a hard time being believed for this reason. 

      Does this sound familiar?!