Want to stop bullying? Then first look for the bully in you

Addressing bullying should start with each of us considering our own behaviour.

Most who read this will have never met me but can get a sense of my nature from the recommendations written about me here in LinkedIn. They suggest I am a great guy, and very supportive.

Can a good guy like me also be a bully?  Yes I can.

On one occasion, while working in the U.S.A, a colleague of mine burst into tears when I expressed my frustration at the quality of her work. The fact was the work was of excellent quality but too complex for my boss who changed his needs from complex to simple after the fact. I apologised the same day, and we remain in touch, on LinkedIn at least.

Several years later in a public sector organisation a colleague complained about my treatment of them and we participated in several meetings where both our views were taken into account and I formally apologised , which I should have done without the need for the conciliation process.

I admit now that in those meeting I was not honest in explaining my behaviour . I talked about pressure of deadlines etc. but didn’t say that I took out my frustration at the lack of support our team had on someone who reported to me when I should have challenged the behaviour of my superiors.

My behaviour was the same as in the first instance I described. I was projecting my frustration downwards rather than standing up for myself and my team

Some guidance on bullying suggests a one off moment of negative behavior is not bullying. I disagree and I should have thanked that person for having the courage to report me do and teach me about myself.

I could have spent my time here detailing my experience of being bullied but thought it better to look at my own behaviour instead .  Would you do the same?


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