Leadership Simplified: Doug Van Dyke

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Workplace Bullying a Problem? Put on Your Conflict Management Hat

By Doug Van Dyke, Leadership Simplified, www.leadershipsimplified.com


According to a recent online survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 35% of respondents stated they have dealt with some form of workplace bullying. More surprisingly, this percentage is up from the 27% experienced during 2011. So what does a bully look like in this day and age? The answer appears to be a coworker (45%), a customer (31%), or a boss (48%). Between coworkers and bosses, it appears that we are doing a pretty good job of beating each other up. Of course, it does not have to be this way. If a bullying issue is impacting you or your team, here are some ideas on how to get a handle on the situation.


  1. Awareness – keep an eye peeled for instances that smack of workplace bullying. The path to correcting an unhealthy situation starts with building awareness. Once sensitized to the issue, solutions can be sought.


  1. Select a Conflict Management Strategy - there are five different strategies regarding conflict management, ranging from avoidance to compliance to collaboration. If you want a win-win result to emerge from a workplace bullying situation, collaboration is the only option that will lead to success.


  1. Craft a Working Agreement – a meaningful working agreement is all about sharing workplace expectations. Engage a facilitator or craft your own agreement, but get clear with bullies about the professional behavior that you expect.  


Okay, so what if your bully won’t comply? The answer is easy, escalate the issue and make a complaint. However, if you follow the steps mentioned above, and take a chill-pill yourself during the process, there will be no need for escalation. Just the satisfaction that a tough situation was handled by you driving a healthy process!  


Do you want to use this blog post in print or online? 

Please do so, as long as you do not alter the content or embedded links. Also, please include the following information: Doug Van Dyke is a Tampa Bay based leadership and collaboration consultant, executive coach, and strategic planner. Doug’s book, Leadership Simplified, as well as CDs and DVDs are available at www.leadershipsimplified.com. To learn more about coaching and training services, contact Doug today at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). 

© 2012 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2012-10-31 at 06:45 AM
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