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What Exactly Is Workplace Bullying?

The Public Speaker explains the different forms of workplace bullying.

By
Lisa B. Marshall,

What Exactly is Workplace Bullying?

Bullying is a big issue these days, and many states have even adopted new laws to help stem the bullying tide. Just check out Legal Lad's expert take on the new regulations for schools.

But school isn't the only place where bullying occurs. Kid bullies can grow up into adult bullies who, eventually, enter the workplace. So, what exactly is workplace bullying? There isn't a single, specific definition; however, most researchers describe it as persistent hostile communication including verbal and nonverbal aggression. Practically speaking, bullying at work may take the following forms:

  • insults

  • curses

  • rumors

  • threats

  • humiliation

  • intimidation

  • belittling

  • offensive jokes

  • spying

  • stalking

  • withholding of information

  • unrelenting criticism

 

Though workplace bullying might also include physical acts, like shoving or pounding a fist, it's usually verbal, and often web-based. If you experience this sort of behavior in your workplace, speak to your HR representative immediately before the situation gets out of hand.

 

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