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
collaboration • (0) CommentsPermalink

New Leader Challenges - Let Them Down Easy

Bad news is never welcome. It is hard to deliver; and even harder to receive.


Recently, a mid-level manager whom we will call Bob, was on the receiving end of some bad news. He had interviewed for a higher position in his organization, but another candidate was chosen.


The delivery of bad news comes in many forms. The easy way, which usually alienates an applicant, is to send a generic email declination. Even worse is for the applicant to not receive any communication other than an email that introduces the new position holder (not them) or to hear the news from co-workers who are somehow “in the know.” Then there is the hard way, which is also known as the right way. This involves a face-to-face meeting with the staff member in order to discuss the decision before it is made public. When bad news is delivered with a personal touch it demonstrates the good character of the leader. It can also build a better sense of team in the process.


It was the latter declination that Bob experienced. Although he was disappointed by the news, he respected the decision-maker for taking the time to deliver the message in person. She turned the meeting into an opportunity to build mutual respect and trust with Bob. In fact, Bob left the meeting with a very favorable opinion of the leader.


Bottom Line: Delivering difficult messages can have a positive outcome if you plan your message. Have a strategy, and deliver tough messages with confidence and honesty.


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:  To learn more about coaching and training services, visit www.leadershipsimplified.com today.

© 2012 Leadership Simplified. All rights reserved.

Posted by Doug Van Dyke on 2012-10-30 at 12:32 PM
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