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Adults Can Be Bullies, Too

4:45 PM, Mar 29, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, N.C. - It's happening in every school building, on every playground. We're talking about bullying and a new documentary aims to address the problem.

However, bullying doesn't stop when you leave school. It's happening in the workplace too. You've probably witnessed adult bullying, or you've been a victim yourself.

Thirty-five percent of adults say they've been bullied at work. While it's upsetting for the individual employee, experts say even if a bully is good at his or her job, they can bring down a company.

"People get focused on the bullying behavior and it distracts from the work that has to be done. It causes turnover in the workplace. People that are bullied are going to leave...maybe you lose very talented people that you need in your workplace," The HR Group, Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Moff said.

Win Win Resolutions Executive Director Debra Vigliano said, "I think it really does deteriorate the team spirit. Really, a company can only succeed to a certain degree if you don't have that camaraderie and everyone feeling like they're an equal contributor to the process."

If you work with or for a bully, you can go on the offensive:

* Document the behavior.
* Talk to other people you trust -- see if they have had an issues with the bully.
* Discuss the situation with your boss or human resources manager.
* Remove the emotion and stick to the facts.

If the bully is your boss, consider having a calm, respectful conversation with him or her after the situation has cooled off a bit.

You might think bullying would be illegal or a form of harassment or discrimination, but that is not always the case. Harassment and discrimination have very specific criteria and bullying can easily fall outside of those guidelines.

There has been a push to pass some anti-bullying laws for the workplace, but so far, no nationwide laws exist. However, many companies are creating a "no bullying" policy.

To learn more about bullying in the workplace, click here.

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