Tactics to deal with workplace politics, bullies?

what has your experience been?

what are some common things that you have seen?

how did you deal with it or how do you recommend dealing with it?


Most Helpful Guy

  • In my last job I did not have interact with people often and took advantage of it. I stayed out of fray. Of course this meant most of my department forgets I exist from time to time.


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What Guys Said 2

  • The best time to deal with this kind of crap is Day 1. No one knows you, or has developed any opinions of you, and they may not even know what position you have in the company. If someone tries to bully you, you simply say, in a calm but firm voice, that such behavior may be acceptable at the company but it isn't acceptable to you, and they need to take it elsewhere, immediately and permanently. Set the expectation from Day 1 that you don't take that crap. Either you straighten it out the first day, or at worst, you get disciplined/lose your job the first day, in which case you are probably better off.

    Bullies target weak victims who aren't likely to defend themselves effectively, so learn how to defend yourself effectively. That means do NOT take it personally (i. e., don't let yourself feel hurt), but a bit of anger is okay - just keep it under control and keep your voice calm and firm. My "calm and firm" voice is about 2 notches SOFTER than my normal speaking voice, so people have to be quiet to hear it - and they do. It helps keep things from escalating but also communicates that you are SERIOUS.

    If you have a lot of politics in your workplace, learn to CYA (Cover Your ASS!). You do this by doing EVERYTHING in writing. If your boss gives you an assignment, you immediately send them an email that states:

    "Per our conversation this morning, you want me to complete the following tasks, with a deadline of next Tuesday, and with the following priorities:

    1. ___
    2. ___
    3. ___

    I am to update you on the status of this assignment at least every other day, and additionally to copy Bob Smith on my progress.

    Is this correct?"

    This way, you give yourself a paper trail, and when someone says "you were supposed to do X", you can say "No, I have clear instructions from my boss that I was supposed to do Y. Do you have anything in writing to say otherwise?" Believe me, this goes FAR in taking the heat off of you and putting it back where it belongs.

    Of course, it won't prevent you taking the heat if they're playing favorites, but in extreme circumstances, you can go to HR or even sue the company.

    • If you confront them, won't they keep coming at you?

    • Show All
    • There are certainly some situations where you can't win - small retail shops where the manager/boss runs it like his own personal fiefdom is one of them. If that's your situation, then the smartest thing you could do is look for a new job. Yes, it's a pain in the ass, but this person's boss is probably rarely around, and if they put someone like this in charge in the first place, they'll likely side with them over you.

      Seek a better job! And at 45, you probably should be targeting something higher than retail anyway - frankly those tend to be more entry-level jobs, where employees need a more heavy handed boss to keep them in line.

      Have you invested in yourself (school, training, etc.) to make yourself more valuable to the market? If not, do so, and find a way to make yourself valuable. The more value you bring, the better you will be treated and the less hassle you will be given. If you bring little value, they won't value you much.

    • I am not 45. I am much younger. I am just a bit emotionally distraught and my social life is out of whack or not where I want it to be. Because of it, I am letting this effect me. Previously I would have just laughed off at the situation and would not let phase me.

  • Report bullies to bosses

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