Posted on 3rd October 2023 at 13:43
Share a time you experienced bullying and what you learned from the experience
I was consulting in my previous career in Business Change and Delivery assurance on large-scale programmes where I was the hired contractor for a bully. I had been brought in as an impartial industry expert in my field and trusted for my diligence, honesty, and professionalism for the greater oversight & safe guarding of senior management. Stress would bring out an ugly critical, abusive, and shaming behaviour in the person I reported to. Initially, I ignored it seeing myself as a service to him and therefore not in a position to complain but as time passed and I worked hard and harder for longer and longer hours, always polite and professional I realised I did not need to put with this behaviour and would rather leave the job and find better respect elsewhere rather than continue.
I remembered however some great techniques I learned years before in Bullying and Harassment training. The next time he approached me I stood tall with my legs slightly wider apart than normal to ground myself and give off a more confident body language, I then held his eye contact and did not look away. I only communicated with him in a factual non-emotional way and when he tried to turn my words around, shame me, and get nasty I remained calm, unemotional, and held his gaze.
I simply stated and restated factual truths & and answers about the work & and on every attempt, he made to try to shake me off my truth or to manipulate me into emotionally responding I remained consistent in repeating what I had said. I understood that if I stuck to the training he would give up in the end. I didn’t have to think, I did not have to accept any of what he was saying and I did not have to take any of it onboard. He even tried to embarrass me in front of others on an online call once as he realised he was losing traction with me so I suggested it might be more appropriate for us to take our conversation off the line however he pushed on trying to knock my confidence and gain back power so I said – No problem if you would like to discuss that openly now then let's do it! I showed no fear even though my heart was beating hard in my chest, I knew I had nothing to hide, nothing to lose so I held my position, and guess what – as with all bullies – he backed down!!!! Do you know I was sure he might fire me but do you know – he extended my contract for a little while longer! If you respect yourself and show confidence in yourself sometimes you can attain respect even from the most unlikely quarters!
I bet you have great stories to tell – I would love to hear them!! There is so much we can share here together.
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