Aspire to Believe CIC




Workplace bullying is more common than we realise and tends to affect many professionals. Like in schools the definition of

Bullying is:

  • deliberately hurtful behaviour
  • often repeated over a period of time
  • difficult for those being bullied to defend themselves

It can be any of the following:

  • Intimidation
  • Spreading malicious rumours
  • Humiliation
  • Insulting someone
  • Ridiculing
  • Excluding
  • Victimising
  • Misuse of power
  • Overbearing supervision
  • Threatening behaviour
  • Overloading with work and creating unreasonable deadlines
  • Stopping training opportunities
  • Unfair treatment
  • Sharing correspondence/emails/memos with people who do not need to be involved
  • Comments about race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or special education need, gender or sex

Bullying or Harassment are often not face to face and can be in the form of any electronic device such as:

  • Emails
  • Text messages
  • Recording phone messages
  • Monitoring internet use

Added to this is showing embarrassing photos or pictures of a sexual nature or making comments about the content of these photos or your appearance to work colleagues. 

It can also be when you are constantly checked up on for example checking you are in the place you are expected to be, questioning or not being allowed to use flexi time, annual leave not being authorized, timesheets and mileage claims being scrutinized.

Signs & Symptoms

Professionals on the receiving end of bullying often show signs or symptoms over a period of time. These can be any of the following:

  • Quiet & Withdrawn
  • Scared of confrontation
  • Working over and above what is expected
  • Tearful
  • Frightened
  • Reluctance to join in with the team
  • Feeling Nauseous
  • Headaches
  • Paranoid about everything they do
  • Low in mood
  • Loss of self esteem
  • Loss of confidence
  • Increased sickness
  • Worried about return to work or supervision meetings
  • Withdrawn, moody, aggressive or uncooperative
  • Looks unhappy
  • Will not stay on their own with the perceived bully

What you should do

Remember to log everything ensuring time, dates, who was there is included. During supervision keep minutes and where possible ask for someone else to do your supervision or if you can ask for someone else to be present.

As with most types of bullying the only way to ever stop it is to ensure that you report it. Bullies thrive on power and by not reporting a bully allows the power to grow and for them to get away with it. Not everyone is able to stand up to a bully therefore you should not feel frightened or intimidated to take it to a higher body or to Human Resources. Whatever you decide the biggest step is reporting from then things will begin to get slightly easier.