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Types of Bullying

Workplace Bullying Tactics and Examples

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Bullying can take many forms. Generally, bullying is any behavior that is unwelcome, offensive, inequitable, unsolicited or objectionable. Bullying can be physical, psychological, verbal, sexual or racial. Below are a few types of workplace bullying:

Threats to Personal Standing

  • Spreading rumors, hurtful gossip or innuendo
  • Yelling, name-calling, mocking, insulting or ridiculing
  • Unwanted physical contact or physical gestures that intimidate or threaten
  • Invalid or baseless criticism
  • Accusatory or threatening statements
  • Faultfinding or unwarranted blaming
  • Displaying offensive photos or objects
  • Temper tantrums, mood swings, shouting
  • Humiliation, public reprimands or obscene language
  • Ganging up against a co-worker
  • Aggressive posturing

Threats to Professional Standing

  • Denying access to resources, assignments, projects or opportunities
  • Stealing or taking credit for another’s work
  • Interfering with someone’s work performance
  • Failing to return phone calls or messages
  • Little or no feedback on performance
  • Withholding information essential to perform one’s job
  • Toxic e-mails
  • Flaunting status

Control or Manipulation Tactics

  • Failing to invite someone to an essential meeting
  • Threatening job loss
  • Excessive monitoring or micro-management
  • Assigning tasks that cannot be completed by deadline; setting unrealistic goals
  • Interference or sabotage
  • Ignoring a coworker with the intent to harm or control.
  • Treating a worker differently than peers and co-workers
  • Ostracism, isolation, dissociation or exclusion from others
  • Refusal to take responsibility
  • Excessive, impossible, conflicting work expectations or demands
  • Inequitable and harsh treatment
  • Other objectionable behavior designed to torment, isolate, pester or abuse

For additional information on bullying, check out the following resources:

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