Who The Bullies Are

Here is what you have to understand, the targets of workplace bullying are not the weakest players—they are often the strongest.

Let’s say that again. The common misconception is that, like schoolyard bullying, the targets of workplace bullying are loners, or “weird” or the people who “don’t fit.” In fact the reverse is true.

People become targets because something about them is threatening to the bully. Often they are more skilled, more technically proficient, have a higher EQ or people just like them better. They are often workplace veterans who mentor new hires.

“WBI research findings and conversations with thousands of targets have confirmed that targets appear to be the veteran and most skilled person in the work group” (quote from WBI).

Now the bully tends to be someone who is skilled at manipulating and controlling, but while they see everything as a competition, they do not feel skilled/competent enough to compete on their own merits. Hence they bully as a futile attempt to feel more powerful.

The bully often works hard to create the perception that they are strong by putting down and blaming others. Often the boss of the bully knows the bully is “disliked” but thinks that the organization cannot do without them and makes “allowances.” The bullying is framed as “personality conflict.”

You can get the latest WBI Workplace 2017 report here – 2017-WBI-US-Survey