8th November 2016

Seven signs you might be the workplace bully

  1. Putting down peoples strengths and emphasising their weaknesses

    Bullies love to discount their targets work and contributions. Do you scoff whenever a colleague speaks up in meetings or discount their ideas? That internal eye-roll might not be as subtle as you think. If your colleagues won’t look you in the eye or are nervous in your company it can raise concerns about your demeanour or helpfulness. Silence in meetings can be another indicator…are your colleagues afraid to give their opinion?

  2. Name calling or inappropriate humour

    If nobody laughs at your banter or reciprocates then you might be crossing the line. Bullies might seek to undermine someone by calling them names or taking digs disguided as ‘banter’. You might try to pass off inappropriate comments even after people have drawn attention to it, thinking it must be their problem not yours.

  3. Does someone push your buttons?

    If you find you have a short fuse or lose your temper regularly with one person, yelling and screaming at them then this could be considered bullying. Ask yourself what is it about this person that makes you see red? Take time to get to know them and how they work, it might be that you have more in common than you realise – or you might be recognising a fault of your own in this person.

  4. Do people stop talking when you walk into a room?

    Are you the last to find out about birthday celebrations or nights out? If you find yourself excluded from social activities and none of your colleagues befriend you on Facebook then it might be time to ask yourself why.

  5. Active ignorance

    e.g. choosing to deliberately and overtly ignore colleagues for team events or meetings even if there are reasons for them to attend.

  6. You’re quick to blame others for problems that arise, making personal attacks or singling out team members

    This can manifest itself in Jekyll and Hyde type characteristics where people can be particularly nasty or vindictive in isolated environments away from the view of others yet make overt moves to appear to be supporting them when in a group environment or around people in authority.

  7. It’s your way or no way

    There’s no diplomacy, you are always right, vocal with your opinion and you like the sound of your own voice. A classic example is to surround yourself with yes men. If your colleagues seek the advice, support or opinion of others, even when they work in your team, then you should consider why you are not being asked for help.


How to tone it down:

Consider the impact which your behaviour has upon others – do unto others what you would expect yourself!

Anger management

Effective communication


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