Five tips for working with bully-behaviors

When I was a kid, I hated seeing other kids bullied. I’d run at the bully with my arms out-stretched or head lowered ram-like to shove the bully away from his target. Then I’d run away as fast as possible to avoid revenge.

As I’ve matured and gained experience as a mediator and conflict engagement specialist, I’ve learned other (more useful) ways of dealing with people and their bully behaviors. Here are five tips to help you when bullying behaviors threaten your work group.

Move beyond staying positive

I recently spoke with a man struggling to stay positive within his workplace. Several months earlier he had committed to changing his attitude. He had spent too many years complaining with coworkers and leaving the office at the end of the day emotionally exhausted. He didn’t want to be part of the toxicity that permeates his work group anymore.…

Gain insight with Johari Window

One of the challenges of improving self-awareness and teamwork is knowing where to start. I’ve used a model called Johari Window for years as a way to guide effective learning conversations. Johari Window gives a view into four aspects of Self that serve as a path to personal insight and interpersonal resilience. Below are several approaches for using Johari Window. As you gain familiarity with the model,…

Learning from feedback

Receiving personal or professional feedback from coworkers, friends, or family can be scary, especially if you haven’t asked for it, or aren’t prepared to hear it. When someone tells you that they don’t like your perfume, your music is too loud, or your presentation induced comas…well, any of that feedback might feel overwhelming, threatening, or completely unfair. When…

Feedback that builds relationship

A supervisor recently sent us this question: I am a supervisor with several direct reports. I have good relations with all of them, except one. I recently had to give her performance feedback to help her get back on track with her peers. She became defensive, blamed others, yet seemed to accept the feedback by…