The short answer is yes, it happens everywhere and it is delivered in many different ways.
It can be blatant or subtle, it can be brutal and it can be one person or many people doing the bullying.
I sincerely hope you don’t find yourself in this position, but unfortunately, some of us do and if you do, you will probably ask yourself how has this person ended up being a bully & of greater concern, why are they bullying me?
Have they been bullied previously – either at work or during their formative years? Does it derive from the pressures of work, is it the company culture or maybe it’s this person’s management style.
Frankly, it might just be that this person is a nasty piece of work or that they are socially inept.
Either way, it’s totally unacceptable and you may be forced to do something about it.
You might decide to wait and hope that it blows over quickly, but if it doesn’t, how do you tackle it? What are your options? How is it affecting you and how does it affect you at home? Could it affect your career prospects?
In this situation, you’re not blessed with lots of good options I’m afraid, but ultimately you want it to be resolved as quickly as possible.
Can you handle the person directly? If so, do you know why they might be bullying you and have you considered the best way to approach them? However, dealing directly with the bully may make the situation worse.
Might you want to bring other colleagues into the situation; do other people feel the same way? What is the culture like at your place of work and should you (can you?), approach the manager for support?
Doing things off the record, ‘a word in the ear’, either directly from you or a manager, might be the easiest way to achieve the best outcome; if you are able to put your point across, you might be able to clear the air & you can move forward harmoniously. However, it is rarely that straight-forward.
An option could be to change department – but only do this if it suits you to do so. You could consult with your manager again to get their support but don’t jeopardise your career due to another person’s unreasonable actions and anyway, why should you let a bully get away with their behaviour!
Ultimately, where bullying is happening, speaking up about it is the single most important thing you can do. By talking about it – to a Senior Manager or a member of HR, you will take the power away from the bully and you will shine a light on their actions.
Dealing with bullying is the responsibility of the company and you should be reassured by the company that appropriate action will be taken to deal with the bully swiftly and decisively.
Ultimately, when bullying is taking place, the morale and productivity of the staff affected (directly or indirectly) will be much reduced, so ensuring that bullying is tackled immediately is in the best interests of the company, as well as the individual or individuals concerned.