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Bullying: Personal, Professional and Workplace

Over the years I’ve been involved with anti-bullying programs in K-12 schools. I’ve also dealt with bullying and cyberbullying in the professional arena and the workplace. This year, while working with librarians who are in the early stages of their career I was appalled to hear about some terrible (and often unaddressed) incidents of professional and workplace bullying by co-workers, management and users. Just scratch a group of library workers and the stories pour out. Lordy, it’s bad enough that this sort of stuff isn’t addressed well enough in elementary and high school. People should have grown up enough as adults that it shouldn’t happen – or at least bullying should be addressed properly in our field and workplaces.

Then again, maybe these books about sociopathy and psychopathy in the workplace is true!

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout (Paperback – Mar 14, 2006)

“Four percent of the global population is made up of sociopaths, Dr. Martha Stout, psychologist and clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, tells us in her book “The Sociopath Next Door.” That means one out of every 25 human beings has no conscience, no sense of right or wrong, no empathy, no ability to understand emotion — no soul. Worse, while they can mimic emotion, they see other humans as mere pawns or saps, to be used for their benefit or amusement, or both.” (link)

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry [Hardcover]
Jon Ronson (Author)

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us [Paperback]
Robert D. Hare PhD (Author)

Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work [Hardcover]
Paul Babiak (Author) & (Author), Robert D. Hare

While I was in Australia in May I came across a piece on bullying in the workplace, school and academia from The Gordon that I think is useful. Here are some of the links it had (Australia):

Bullying (Wikipedia)

Bullying: No Way



Cyberbullying: Identification, Prevention, and Response
5 page PDF

“Workplace bullying can include a vast number of disrespectful behaviors including: (link)

• Harassment
• Mobbing
• Incivility
• Teasing
• Gossiping
• Purposely withholding business information
• Overruling decisions without a rationale
• Sabotaging team efforts
• Demeaning others
• Verbal intimidation”

Fifteen signs of workplace bullying

Workplace Bullying Institute

Some bullies have defended their actions by stating that their bullying behaviours are necessary in order that they are heard. What a complete crock of b.s.! Some cyberbullies ironically say they must remain anonymous in order to avoid being bullied back or other consequences. Again, the lack of self awareness would be funny if it weren’t for the negative world they create.

I agree with a friend who said that the bullies are doing as much damage to themselves as they do to others and the workplace. I am concerned that they get help. However, that doesn’t make it OK or ignorable.

Shine a light on the dark places. Don’t let the bullies hide in the shadows.

And if you’re experiencing workplace bullying – for whatever or no reason – do a few searches and find some advice. Get the help and support you need. It’s not your fault. And it can get better.


Posted on: July 7, 2011, 1:05 am Category: Uncategorized

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