We all saw what had happened. And probably watched it a few times over. Yes, we are referring to the recent HDFC video that went viral.
What was more problematic than the content of the video was the fact that most people are accustomed to or have experienced this in some way or another. And it made us wonder - have we normalised workplace bullying?
The truth is, we come across all sorts of people at work and how they behave might not always be fair or correct. When this happens, it is crucial to pause and establish clear boundaries. Because nothing, not your job role, not your salary, not your position, justifies being a bully or a victim.
How do we draw a line?
Dealing with bullies is not easy, but what causes significant damage is continuing to tolerate them. No matter who the person is, your boss or your colleague, if they have crossed a line, you must take a step to establish boundaries.
Understand what led a person to act out
To effectively tackle bullying at work, it's important to understand what drives a person’s behaviour. Bullies often feel a need to exert power and control over others due to their own insecurities or dissatisfaction with their lives. By recognising this, you can empathise with their situation while still standing up for yourself. Remember, their behaviour is not a reflection of your worth or abilities.
Empathy is good, but learn to be assertive too
Be clear about how you expect others to treat you. Yes, every behaviour has a root cause, and empathy for it makes you more understanding, but it should not be confused with tolerating unacceptable behaviour. Practise assertive communication by clearly and confidently expressing your thoughts, feelings, and boundaries without being aggressive. Stand tall, maintain eye contact, and use firm but polite language to address the bully's behaviour. Assertiveness shows that you respect yourself and demand the same respect from others.
Remember, you don’t have to deal with this alone
Dealing with a bully can be emotionally draining. In these situations, nothing can help you feel better than a colleague or friend who understands, so it's essential to build a support network in your workplace. Communicate with people who are supportive and understanding. Share your experiences, seek advice, and ask for their opinions on workplace bullying prevention. Having a reliable support system can provide emotional validation and strength, making it easier to confront a bully and maintain your mental well-being.
There is always professional help available
Yes, your friends can provide you with strength and understanding but what a professional can do in such a situation is irreplaceable. If bullying has begun to adversely impact your well-being, it's essential to seek professional assistance and support. Consult your HR department or a trusted supervisor to discuss the situation and explore available resources. They can guide you through the issue-addressing process and ensure your rights are protected.
Lastly, do not hesitate to document the issue
Do not fear the bully. Speak the truth and speak it out loud. It is very crucial to document bullying incidents, more than we can put into words. Keep a record of the dates, times, and descriptions of each incident, including any witnesses present, and report it to your company’s PADB committee. This documentation serves as evidence of ongoing bullying and can be crucial if you need to escalate the matter further.
One last thing to remember is that dealing with bullies is not about stooping to their level or seeking revenge. So speak up, because everybody is entitled to basic respect, no matter what they do and where they work.
Psst! This blog was made with💚, lots of teamwork, and edited by a human with some help from generative AI. We're not ones to steal credit. #PuttingItOutThere