Management Tip of the Day: Stamp out workplace bullying

Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:11am EDT
 
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BOSTON (Reuters) - There is a clear difference between hard-charging bosses and those who cross the line into bullying, creating patterns of fear, says Harvard Business Review.

The Harvard Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and HBR.org (www.hbr.org). Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"There is a difference between leaders who aggressively push for results and bullies who use fear and intimidation to get what they want. Organizations can't afford the latter: these people are costly in terms of productivity and emotional impact.

Here's how to discern the difference between hard-charging managers and sinister bullies:

1. Confront. Hold a series of impromptu meetings with the suspected bully and victims to gather evidence quickly. Make these gatherings out-of-the-blue, rather than planned in advance, to ensure you get the straight story.

2. Analyze and present. Use an external framework to evaluate whether this is a true case of bullying. Document the evidence rather than relying on hearsay.

3. Expose. Since bullies use fear of consequences as their main weapon, it's critical to expose their behavior. By outing bullies and labeling the behavior, you can take away their power."

-- Today's management tip was adapted from "Diagnose and Eliminate Workplace Bullying" by Baron Christopher Hanson.

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<p>A pedestrian walks past an anti-bullying billboard in downtown Boston, Massachusetts March 3, 2011. REUTERS/Brian Snyder</p>