PHOENIX — Bullies are not just on school playgrounds. They’re in the workplace too.
A workplace bully could be a co-worker. It could even be a boss.
Portland, Ore. attorney Jathan Janove is an expert on bullies at work. He gives webinars on this topic and said some bosses create a “Zone of Fear” of anxiety and intimidation that interferes with people’s capability to perform on the job.
“Most bosses that do this — and many, many, many do — they aren’t aware that they’re behaving as bullies.”
A bullying situation may not involve frightened employees. Sometimes it’s the boss telling an inappropriate joke. Not too many people are willing to say, ‘Didn’t get that one, boss.’
Janove said direct responses are best. Tell the chief it’s not funny.
“If that doesn’t work, then action should be taken. It should be dealt with. Not only are you the victim but there are probably other victims as well.”