- The Office Bully
The Situation: “My colleague, Mike*, loves taunting others. He can be cruel – using foul language, criticising our work and making us look incompetent. He is not our boss, but he’s been with the company for 15 years and acts like he’s in charge. His excuse for his behaviour is that he’s ‘just honest and outspoken’.” – Karen*, 35, event planner
What To Do: Ignore him. Once he loses his audience, he may stop his bullying. If his behaviour disturbs you or disrupts your work, report him to human resources.
Teo Ser Lee, founder and director of Protocol Academy, suggests a heart-to-heart talk with him. Approach him in a calm and confident – not accusatory – manner. “Avoid being emotional,” she advises. “Maintain eye contact and don’t cross your arms defensively or fiddle with your hair. You want to solve the issue, so address his behaviour and don’t get personal. Finding fault with him as a person will only fan the fire.”