Emily was bombarded by his boss early in the morning with five statistical reports on gallery revenues due in the afternoon even if this is not in line with her work as an artist. Her officemates keep giving her snide remarks and dagger looks whenever she passes by. Emily is being intimidated at the office. If this scene sounds familiar to you, then chances are you are one too. Intimidation can be a crime but we do not have to be in a courtroom to know how to defend ourselves. We prevent such dilemma by knowing it beforehand.
50 % of office workers admitted they being bullied at work by intimidation. Intimidation is an intentional behavior that causes a person of ordinary sensibilities fear injury or harm. It can be covert or overt. Emily’s officemates used overt intimidation which is subtle / non-verbal with the use of gestures – glance, stare, shrug and other use of mean facial expressions. If intense confrontation occurs, it is considered as overt. The main reason of using intimidation tactics is insecurity. This is more common in the corporate world. Superiors use it as a defense mechanism to protect their position. In other words, you are a threat to them.
Identifying intimidation tactics being used by your so-called opponents help prevent further escalation of the situation. Here are some tips to fend off the workplace intimidation.
Deal with it immediately.
It is unhealthy for you to be in such situation. You will have to combat a big deal of stress which may lead to anxiety and depression in the long run. It is also unhealthy for your co-workers, the company and even the economy is affected.
Talk it out.
One-to-one conversation to settle the dispute and make each other aware of what it happening. Keep your cool. Try to talk it out with reason and open-mindedly. Give the bully the benefit of the doubt but do not be easily fooled. Identify if he/she is sincere when apologizing.
Discuss it openly with the HR.
Consider this as your last resort if you can’t resolve it on your own. A good counsel puts us in an ease especially if it is very difficult for us to go about our work. This will be addressed properly by the authorized personnel.
Know your friends and ask them for help.
You need your people. Support system gives comfort and they are always going to be there to back you up.
Expose the tactic publicly to gain witness.
This is effective during heightened situation. It is not about having witnesses to take sides but to give resolution to the injustice you are experiencing. Witnessing confrontation can be an eye-opener on what the working environment is like. Of course, companies do not promote this kind of commotion.
Emily, you or anyone for that matter do not deserve to be bullied in the office for performing well. Taking it personally is far from being professional. Using intimidation tactics is common when working but it does not have to be if everyone knows how to deal with it.